Karma Kafe, Koh Phangan

IMG_3665This lovely cafe can be found around Sweet Water Lake in Koh Phangan. Their menu offers a range of organic vegan and gluten free items. Continue reading


Vietnamese Spring Rolls

imageI make these bad boys a lot! They are great to pack as lunches or snacks as they don’t require refrigeration, and they aren’t too messy when traveling.


My favourite!



I didn’t have any peanuts, so I used cashews instead

You will need:

  • Rice paper wrappers
  • 1-2 carrots
  • small head of cabbage
  • bunch of holy basil
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • bunch of spring onions, only green part
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed

For the dipping sauce:

  • fish sauce
  • tamarind paste
  • palm sugar
  • chili powder

How to do it:

  1. Start off by washing and prepping your veg. Rip the leaves of basil from the stems, rinse the beansprouts and green onions. Remember, you only want the green part of the onion.
  2. Shred your cabbage and carrot, then mix together in a bowl.
  3. Crush your nuts with a sharp knife, mortar and pestle or food processor.


    This recipe is all about preparation!

  4. Bowl some water and lay out a large plate for the rice paper wrappers.
  5. Now you need to prep the rice paper wrappers. Lay one flat on a plate, and then pour the hot water over it. Be careful! You need to turn the wrapper over so that both sides are wet. You don’t want the wrapper to be too sticky or too soft.


    Have some cool water nearby

  6. Once the wrapper has become soft and pliable, shake or squeeze the excess water off.
  7. Lay it flat on a cutting board, and then start to add in your ingredients.


    While you’re filling the first one, put another wrapper in the water

  8. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet – you want to roll the wrapper once, then tuck in the two ends, then continue wrapping it.


    It takes a bit of practise, I admit!

  9. In a small mixing bowl, add in some fish sauce, tamarind paste, and palm sugar. Just keep adding the ingredients until you get a sweet and sour flavour. Add in some chili powder, if desired, then serve with your Vietnamese Spring rolls!

Making Hummus

It suddenly occurred to me, why pay 300 baht for pre-made hummus, when I could make the stuff myself? Waitrose dried chick peas cost 129 per bag at Topps, and garlic is basically free here.


A perfect lunch!


It is best to soak your chickpeas over night. Use clean drinking water for this.


The chickpeas will absorb most of the water, so it’s best to use drinking water (not tap)

These are all the ingredients you need.


This tahini is from my local villa. But any other brand of tahini would be fine – there’s Healthy Mate and homemade ones at the Bangkok Farmer’s Market

Begin by cooking your chickpeas in some water. This will take about 10 minutes. Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Then, drain them and let them cool down.

Use your food processor to break down the chickpeas. Add the juice of half a lime, a tbsp of tahini, and a tbsp of olive oil. You may want to add a little more of each, depending on the taste and consistency.


Chop the garlic and parsley, then add to the food processor. Blend together until you get the consistency you want. You could also add some roasted peppers, paprika or chilies to add a bit of heat.




Gluten Free & Vegan Chana Masala

Indian food is always delicious. Although I have never taken a cooking course, I have dabbled in this culinary tradition. Today I bring to you a cheap and easy dish to make.


Chana Masala with brown rice and a fresh veggie ‘slaw

It has a little bit of spice to it, mixed with the lime and cilantro at the end, you also get some sour notes. I love this recipe because it is cheap to make and adds in lots of  antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C and K.

Pair it with some brown rice, onion dosa and a salad of some sort. This also makes for great leftovers!


Soak them ‘peas overnight!

The night before, you’ll want to soak your chickpeas in fresh water for at least 8 hours. Make sure you cook your chickpeas before starting the recipe. Alternatively, you may use canned chickpeas (but they don’t taste as fresh, in my opinion).

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or dried ground ginger could work)
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander (I use MasterFoods from Aus)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (this & all other spices are McCormick)
  • 1 tsp tumeric (you could halve this and use fresh stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala ***
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes or 1 15oz can of tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked chick peas (or 2 cups dried – but you need to cook in advance)
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 a lime, juiced

*** Here’s a quick spice combination for Garam Masala:

  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all spice

Mix together and store in an old spice jar for future need!


A vegan and gluten free one-pot-wonder!

Ok, so back to the Chana Masala.

Begin by heating the oil in a large sauce pan or thick bottomed pot. Add in the onions and saute until they become translucent (approx 5 mins). Then add in the ginger and garlic and saute for a further 2 mins.

Next, start to add in the spices and make sure they are combined well (cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, garam masala and tumeric). Then you can add in the chopped tomatoes, chick peas and water.

You want to bring this to a simmer (light boil) for about 8-10 mins. Continue to stir, making sure that the tomatoes and chickpeas don’t stick to the bottom. Once the water has reduced and the tomatoes are looking a bit worse for wear, add in the salt, lime or lemon juice and the fresh coriander. Remove from heat and it’s ready to serve!


You can add more paprika and cayenne for extra spice!

For the coleslaw, I just added a bunch of veggies I had lying around in my food processor:

  • cabbage – green and purple
  • green onions
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • lime juice
  • chili
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste



Vegan / Gluten Free Apple Crumble

While Skyping with friends, I was surprised to still see snow on the ground back home in Canada. This made me think about the types of things I would be making, like apple crumble and cinnamon buns. Once again, I was craving the comforts of home.

I’ve used another nut base – hey, these are great! You don’t have to add any butter or oils due to the natural oils in the nuts!


Mmm cinnamon and apple goodness!

So I popped down to Villa and picked up a few sour apples and a package of dried cranberries.


It’s starting to look promising!

Now, I don’t have a proper recipe for this, you just need to judge based on the size of the cooking dish you use.

Chop up your apples and sprinkle with cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and some sugar (I used McCormick’s Cinnamon Sugar) for this. You can sprinkle in some raisins, but I’ve used cranberries here. Then you’ll want to add a little water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, to help cook the apples a bit more.

Next, put your nuts in the food processor. I used:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3-4 dates

You could also use pecans or any other nuts you like/have around. Grind in the food processor until the nuts start to stick together. Sprinkle on top of the apple/cranberry mix.


Bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20-30 minutes. Use a knife to determine if the apples are cooked. If the top starts to brown and the apples are still not 100% cooked, put some tinfoil on top.


Easy Gluten Free Banoffee Pie

This post has been updated.

While on a quest to experiment with pie bases, I came across the technique of using ground nuts. My favourites are walnuts, cashews and almonds. I tend to use these in all sorts of dishes – walnuts in muffins, cashews for cheese, almonds in pancakes…


Please note: I have stopped purchasing Heritage brand nuts as I cannot determine if they are in fact gluten free. While many Thai friends tell me they are organic, I have not been able to get in contact with the company to find more details about their manufacturing processes. Now, I purchase Waitrose nuts at all the big shopping centres (and have not had any problems).

Using a food processor, I used cashews, walnuts and almonds. To be honest, I didn’t measure it out because it depends on how big of a dish you’ll use. Add in some dates to add sweetness, as well as to help bind the nuts together to form the base. You can of course add your favourite gluten free biscuits to the mix!

imageNext up, I carmelized some sugar, and put this on top of the nut base. Then I started to add the bananas (uncooked this time).

imageI wasn’t such a fan of the Orgran chocolate mousse, so I picked up some Betty Crocker (gluten free!) for some serious chocolateness.

Cool in the fridge for a couple hours. This pie is so sweet your teeth will ache! But my friends and I loved it!

Here’s the old recipe:


These are all the ingredients you will need.


Start first with your biscuits – any gluten free ones will do. You want to crush them, or you could put them in a food processor. If you want to add more texture, crush some nuts, like almonds, cashews or walnuts. For the bottom layer, use your discretion. I didn’t have many cookies, so my crumble crust is quite thin.


Next, begin to carmelize your sugar. This is easy. You take a couple table spoons of sugar and put them into a frying pan on medium heat. You can add some water here – little amounts to start. You want the sugar to bubble and become sticky. You can also add some cinnamon or vanilla at this point.imageThen you want to add your chopped bananas. This will be the delicious banoffee part of the dessert! Turn the heat down. You don’t want your bananas to mush – you just want them to become coated in sugary goodness!


Remove the pan from the heat and begin your gluten free chocolate mousse. Follow the instructions on the packet.image

Begin to layer in your bananas. The chocolate mousse goes next. Put in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.image

Serve with some gluten free ice-cream. New Zealand Natural does a nice chocolate, as well as a vanilla. I personally like the Hokey Pokey one.

This will blow your mind.


Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Muffins



  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup soy milk (if using sweetened, you can cut down on sugar)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus some for muffin tin (I use a mix of sunflower and canola)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and oil muffin tin. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the blueberries. Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Then fold in the blue berries with a spatula. Be careful not to break them. Pour into muffin tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

You’ll know they’re ready when they’re golden brown on top. If you’re unsure, use a pointy knife or toothpick and stick it in the middle of a muffin in the center of the tin (because the ones on the ends will cook quicker). If it comes out clean then they’re ready!


Gluten Free Vegan Zucchini and Banana Bread


I made this last week for some vegan friends who were visiting Bangkok. They awoke to the luscious aroma of all spice and cinnamon. I followed the recipe, except didn’t use apple sauce, instead substituted another banana.

To make it gluten free for me, I used Bob’s Red Mills All Purpose Baking Mix, not flour. And because I don’t like nuts or raisins in bread, I omitted those also. The end result, however, was delish! We ate all the bread that day. Never have I had anything so moist and flavourful! Highly recommend this for all GF and Veg out there!

Recipe complements of PPK