Friday, December 30, 2011

Middle Eastern Chickpea with Cinnamon and Brown Rice

Ok, I know I'm just so overly enthusiastic that I can't stop blogging now, but I can't help it!! Plus if there's a demand for it then why not? I thought I would share my dinner tonight since it is ridiculously yum and so quick and easy as well!

Middle Eastern Chickpea with Cinnamon and Brown Rice

2 cups brown rice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
150-200g baby spinach leaves
1 onion, diced
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp tamari
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
Black pepper to taste

Prepare brown rice.

Using non stick fry pan, pour the oil and tamari in pan and heat, add chickpeas and onion.
Cook until onion looks transparent then add remaining ingredients except parsley and pine nuts. Add spinach in small amounts and allow to wilt a little before adding more. 
Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  

Serve the mixture over a bed of brown rice and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts.

Servings: 4

Stir-fried Tofu and Vegetables with Miso Sauce


I was so excited about the success of my first blog post last night, I literally couldn't fall asleep.  So I decided with a little bit of time on my hands again today that I would post another.... My first recipe!!

I decided to start with my dinner last night :) This meal was quick and easy and tasted delicious! It was different from my usual stir-frys I normally make, and it was nice to use some of my shiro (white) miso I still had in the fridge from a meal last week.  

The only time consuming thing about this recipe is cutting the vegetables. cutting them finely though, will allow it to cook in a flash. I served this on a bed of brown rice, however you can use quinoa or buckwheat noodles etc.

PLEASE NOTE: Nutritional facts at the bottom do NOT include brown rice.

Stir-Fried Tofu and Vegetables with Miso Sauce

2 teaspoons minced garlic
700g baby bok choy
2 carrots
200g mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper
150g snowpeas
300g baked tofu (see recipe below)

2 tablespoons shiro (white) miso
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other chile sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional*)
Wash bok choy, cut off the green tops, chop them coarsely, and place in a bowl. Slice the white parts about 1/2-inch thick and place in another large bowl. Cut the carrot into matchsticks and add it to the white bok choy bowl. Slice the mushrooms, and put them with the carrots. Cut the tops off the snowpeas and cut in half, slice the bell pepper thinly and add both to the bok choy greens. Dice the tofu and set aside.
Place the miso and cornstarch into a bowl and gradually add the water as you whisk it to combine smoothly. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and set aside.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok (or regular skillet that has been rubbed or sprayed lightly with extra virgin olive oil). When it’s hot, add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the white bok choy/carrot mixture and 2 tablespoons water and cover immediately. Steam for about 2 minutes. Add the bok choy greens, cover, and cook until just wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tofu and the sauce and cook until tofu is heated through and sauce is slightly thickened. Serve immediately over brown rice.
Servings: 3
Baked Tofu

300g extra-firm tofu (NOT Silken)
About 1/8 cup tamari
Preheat oven to 190 C.
Slice tofu 1cm thick. Brush each slice, back and front, with tamari and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through, until a deep, golden brown and crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside. Remove from oven.
Cut each slice of tofu into 4 pieces and add to the stir-fry towards the end.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bec's Journey into Vegan & Raw foodism

Hello Everyone!!

Welcome to my very first blog post!

Thank you to everyone for your unconditional support! I'm soooo incredibly excited that after months of talking about it, I've FINALLY had the time to sit down for a whole day and spend time putting this blog together!

As everyone who knows me at all knows, I am a singer and well, an all-round entertainer/performer. I have traveled the world singing, dancing and performing in theatres to thousands of people, starred and been involved in more musicals than I can count on 2 hands, competed in competitions including Australian Idol in 2005 at the tender age of 16, where I made it to the Top 50.It is very safe to say that this is where my passion since being a little tot, is and will always be. However, my new passion to follow a cruelty free life came about a little over 2 years ago when I decided to become a vegan.

As most people, I was raised eating meat. It honestly never really occurred to me that I was eating dead animals, but I also never was a really big meat eater. I just didn't enjoy the taste and it made me feel heavy and yuck. In 2006, I was on tour in New Zealand and I remember driving through fields and fields of green meadows full of sheep and their baby lambs! I remember just falling in absolute love with the lambs and watching them bouncing around and following their mummy's up the hills. That was my first realisation. I didn't want to touch lamb again after that. The second was veal. While I was never a veal person anyway, the thought of eating a baby cow taking from it's mummy was heartbreaking to me.

I wanted to give vegetarianism a try but had no idea where or how to start, so it never really eventuated. Years went by and I was seriously so sick to death of eating chicken every single day and night. A was watching Oprah one day (I miss herrrr!!!) and Alicia Silverstone was being interviewed about her new book 'The Kind Diet'. I had no idea she was even a Vegan, but something was ignited inside of me and I literally jumped on Amazon while she was still being interviewed and ordered her book.

I was sooo excited for it to arrive and I told Tommy that I'd decided to give it a go and he was open to the idea as well (he was over chicken everyday as well lol). The book arrived and Tommy and I read the WHOLE thing together in 2 hours! We balled our eyes out together. it was the first time I'd really ever heard anything about factory farming etc. and we were shocked to find out the real truth about how bad animal products really are for you.

The very next day we threw out EVERYTHING that contained animal products. Meat, milk, yoghurt, icecream, chocolate, pasta and bread containing milk and/or eggs... I mean EVERYTHING! We went to the shops and organic grocers all over Melbourne and started stocking our cupboard and fridge with new and exciting vegan certified products and I started cooking some of the meals from the book. We were both so excited about our new lifestyle change (yes Tommy as well, before anyone asks, it was his decision to go vegan as well). I found it so exciting every day finding new things to cook and eat. Cooking no longer felt like a chore, and I felt so incredibly fulfilled inside knowing I was saving animals along the way.

Sure, I got laughed at. People (including family) thought it was just a phase and I'd get over it. And still to this day, people can't believe it when I tell them I haven't touched meat at all since! It wasn't hard for me as I didn't like it anyway, but for those of you who do enjoy the taste of meat, it may be challenging, but it's a challenge that is so rewarding! 

This lifestyle uncovered a whole new me, and a whole new want and need for self education. I started reading up on everything there was to know about being a HEALTHY vegan (yes you can still be an unhealthy vegan - there's plenty of vegan junk) and helping animals. I became a member of PETA ( and Animals Australia (, both which I regularly donate to, because it's not just about helping animals in our own country, but supporting the rights of animals worldwide. Through reading, self education both my mother and I, discovered the world of Raw food!! This takes veganism and health to a WHOLE new level, and I'm excited to share more about this with you also!

Early this year (2011) after returning home from living in Texas, USA, I decided that on top of my singing career, I wanted to study Naturopathy. I decided to go with Naturopathy over Nutritional Medicine as I am extremely passionate about using the healing powers of nature over pharmaceuticals, and wanted that sort of education as well. I have just finished my first year of my 4 year Bachelor of Health Science!! I LOVE it! At times it's hard and I want to quit, but the support I have around me is incredible and so motivating to keep going because I am learning SO much and it will only help me to empower even more people along the way. I also have the most amazing lecturer, Mr Michael Georgalli, who has really taught me so much more than I ever expected or could have been prepared for. 

Throughout this blog I will be going into the biochemistry of how the body works and metabolizes food, and clear those nasty myths we all think are the only ways to get lean clean and fit!! This lifestyle is about TRUE health and doing what is RIGHT for your body, not just what gets results! Forget about spending hundreds on nasty supplements, because if you're eating correctly you won't need anything from a bottle!!! Discover how you can still enjoy yummy delicious delectable sweets, treats and desserts without the guilt attached, while still using whole foods. And don't deprive your poor body of carbohydrate when carbohydrate is the basis of energy and your body functioning correctly!!

I'm not a personal trainer, and will not be handing out fitness advice as such but I have been a trained dancer since I was 5 and can help you change your lifestyle and the way you look at food, eating and exercising (because it doesn't have to be a chore or something that is done because you want to look a certain way!) 
True happiness starts internally, and if that is your main focus, your external will show this :) 

I will be sharing recipes with you all as well, and I'm so excited to get feedback from people who have tried out all the recipes and how it is having an impact on how they feel. As well as all of this, I will be keeping you up-to-date with my journey as a singer, and I have some extremely exciting news that I'm not allowed to disclose yet, but will be early 2012!



♥ LOVE BEC ♥