Tag Archives: vegan

Barley, Pumpkin and Orange Salad

On occasion Miss K’s kindergarten has a surplus of food left over from their lunch. Yesterday it was cooked barley and I was given a large container of it to take home. I love surplus food – what an opportunity!

After perusing some possibilities and feeling inspired to experiment, I decided to make a salad to take to pot-luck dinner tonight. It’s turned out quite well and so I thought it worth sharing.


I would describe it as a sweet-and-sour salad. For those of you who need to avoid gluten, you might replace the barley with a gluten-free grain. The salad is vegan as well.


  • 2 cups of cooked barley
  • half a medium-sized Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium-sized clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sweet paprika powder
  • half a lime
  • optional: some mango or mango-nectar
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • a handful of chopped spring onion


  1. Cut up carrot and pumpkin into small cubes, place into a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic, salt, pepper and paprika powder. Bake in the oven at 175-200°C until golden brown
  2. Place cooled barley into the salad bowl. Peel the oranges and divide into their parts, cut these into smaller pieces and place in with the barley. Mix together with the handful of chopped spring onion. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. Into a small blender (or you could use a hand-held mixer) place the clove of garlic, mint leaves, 3 tablespoons of olive oil the juice of half a lime, one tablespoon of balsamic, salt and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (plus optionally mango/mango-nectar). Blend until smooth and salad-dressing-like. Mix this into the barley and orange in the salad bowl
  4. Add the cooled pumpkin and carrot into the salad bowl and mix carefully.
  5. Serve!

Spring is here, the sun is out and salad is glorious!


Gingerbread in the raw

I was trying to clean out the pantry and realised I had too much of a few things and that put together they might make something interesting. Most of it was dried fruit and nuts – perfect for raw bliss balls or bars. I thought it would be nice to shape them, perhaps using a cookie cutter. This is all I could find:

cookie cutter

cookie cutter

I am assuming it is meant to be a ginger bread man. It is actually more harmonious upside down, like the Japanese Yen.

All the same, that gave me the idea – how about raw, sugar-free gingerbread?! It always irks me how much cane sugar you need to make a good gingerbread. And for those of you who are into it, these babies are also vegan and gluten-free.

It took a while to make them because I was juggling a toddler who is teething 4 molars and honing her photography skills.

Miss K. practising using the shoot button on our camera

Miss K. practising using the shoot button on our camera

Actually, these are super quick to make. Here’s how:

1 cup of dried apricots (chopped into pieces is best)
1 cup of cashew nuts
1 cup of goji berries
1 heaped tablespoon of tahini
1/4 cup of coconut oil (plus extra in case it isn’t holding together)
2 teaspoons of gingerbread spices
a pinch of salt
some chocolate covered goji berries for decoration

~After some taste-testing and cookie reviews, it is suggested that you add something more for sweetness – agave, honey, dates, even (gasp) sugar. It seems I really do not have a sweet tooth as these are definitely sweet enough for me as they are. For a normal person, I think more is necessary.~

Raw gingerbread - the ingredients

Raw gingerbread – the ingredients

Basically, throw everything except the chocolate covered goji berries in the blender and make it as smooth as you wish. You might need to add extra coconut oil to get the right consistency and have a taste to see if you want to have a more spicy mix, in which case add some more spices.

Since the mix is sticky, I found it much easier to press it into the cookie cutter. I compacted the mix inside the cookie cutter so that it held together and then carefully eased it out.

I then shaped them a bit more by hand and stuck on a chocolate gogi berry for the belly button.

Raw, sugar-free gingerbread recipe

Raw, sugar-free gingerbread recipe

It’s pretty hot and so mine are pretty mushy. I put them into the fridge to harden, ready to take them to a crafternoon at my friend’s from Deer Little Fox.