{Recipe} Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad | Cherry Cake

I am posting two recipes today. Both recipes are suitable for an Aussie Christmas lunch (or dinner). The Cherry Cake is suitable any time of year!

Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad takes advantage of the Summertime abundance of delectable mangoes. Macadamia nuts, fresh herbs and spices also feature in this easy recipe. This salad is adapted from a vegetarian Weight Watchers recipe book that belonged to my mother-in-law, Maureen, many moons ago.

I also present Cherry Cake – a decadent, moreish treat that is my ‘go to’ cake for special events. I have found it to be popular with non-vegans too. The original source of the recipe is unknown, unfortunately. A non-vegan version of this recipe was passed on to my mum by a friend who had copied it out of a magazine. My mum veganized it, and I made further small amendments.



Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous Salad

Quantity: Serves 6 people as a side dish

(For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free cous cous).

You will need:

1 1/2 cups wholewheat cous cous (I use Macro brand)

1 3/4 cups boiling water

2 small mangoes, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

50g raisins or sultanas

75g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cardamon

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped (I use garlic chives)

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 -1 /2 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional)




1. Prepare the cous cous first. Prepare as per instructions on the pack, or use the following simple method that aims to avoid added oil.

Boil water in a kettle. Pour cous cous grains into a saucepan, then add the boiled water. Stir the grains briefly. Cover the saucepan. Do not place the saucepan on a hot plate. After 5 minutes, remove the saucepan lid and use a fork to separate the grains.

The grains should appear fluffy and light, like this:

cooked cous cous

2. Transfer the cous cous to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

3. Place a fry pan on a medium heat, add approximately two tablespoons of water, and heat. If you prefer to cook with oil, use that instead of water.

4. Add the spices and stir until fragrant, then add the onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to ensure the onions are coated with the spices. Add the garlic, stir.

5. Add macadamia nuts and raisins, mix well, then turn off the heat.

6. Add the onion mixture to the cooked cous cous. If using olive oil, pour it in now. Mix well.

7. Add the mango and herbs. Stir gently. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and decorate with parsley sprigs and blades of chives.

Mango and Macadamia cous cous1


Mango and Macadamia Cous Cous2


Cherry Cake1

Cherry Cake

Quantity – 12 slices

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F

You will need:

For the cake:

1 1/4 cups wholemeal flour

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/4 tsp salt

175g vegan margarine, melted

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp soy or almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

 400g can/jar of Black cherries OR Morello cherries, drained and cut in half

1/4 tsp lemon juice

For the topping:

1/2 cup plain flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted


Grease and line a spring form cake tin.

For the filling: Although I always buy pitted cherries, I cut each cherry in half to ensure that no pits are present. Invariably, I find one or two. In a small mixing bowl, add cherries and lemon juice. Stir, then set aside:

Morello Cherries

For the topping: In a small mixing bowl, add flour and brown sugar, mix well. Pour melted vegan margarine over the mixture, and use a fork to combine the ingredients until they form coarse breadcrumbs:



For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, raw sugar and salt. Add melted vegan margarine, soy milk and vanilla. Stir only until ingredients are incorported. Do not over stir.

To assemble the cake:

Pour mixture into the cake tin:

cake batter

Cake mixture

Sprinkle half of the topping over the cake:

Add topping

Add half the topping

Next, spread the cherries across the surface of the cake:

Add cherries

Add the cherries

Then, sprinkle the remaining topping over the cherries:

Sprinkle topping

Ready for the oven!

Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes. I always check this cake at the 25 minute mark (I have a temperamental oven). If the top already looks very golden, I cover the cake tin with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

Allow the cake to cool on the bench for 10-20 minutes before removing the sides of the cake tin. Carefully remove the bottom section of the cake tin, and transfer the cake to a rack to cool entirely. Or, indulge while it is still warm.

Cherry cake is delightful on its own, or you can serve it with vanilla soy ice cream or non-dairy cream.



Cherry Cake2

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.


{Recipe} Vegetable and Cous Cous Bake

This is a very ‘flexible’ dish, meaning you can use whatever you have languishing in your fridge. Don’t have capers? Use sun-dried tomatoes; Don’t have fresh tomatoes? Use red capsicum (bell pepper); All out of pine nuts? Use sunflower seeds. You get the picture. My 6 year old son loves this dish with the addition of sliced vegie sausages. Sometimes I add store-bought marinated tofu. You can see why this dish is different each time I make it!

My husband and three eldest children are in Sydney at the moment, visiting loved ones. I am missing them madly.

I had dinner with my parents tonight, and I made this dish.

Quantity – 4-5 serves

You will need:

For the marinade:

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp tomato paste

1 clove garlic, minced


5 cups root vegetables, chopped (I used a combination of carrot, potato, sweet potato & pumpkin)

1/2 cup tightly packed kale, shredded

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 medium-sized tomato, diced

1/4 cup raw nuts (I prefer macadamias. I used almonds this time)

1 tbsp raw pine nuts

1 tbsp capers

2 tbsp olives, sliced (I used black olives)

1-2 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used a combo of basil, parsley & mint from my garden)

4-6 artichoke hearts, cut in half

1 cup cooked beans or 1 can (I used cannellini (white) beans)

1 cup of cous cous grains (whole wheat or Gluten-free)


1. Place all marinade ingredients in a small bowl or jug and stir with a fork.

2. Arrange chopped root vegies in a large baking dish, lined with parchment/baking paper:

3. Pour marinade on vegies and mix to achieve even coverage.

4. Place in a pre-heated oven (180 deg C/350F) for approx. 35 mins, removing at the 25 min mark to stir vegies. My vegies took 40 mins on this occasion.

5. While root vegies are baking, prepare other ingredients:

6. Prepare cous cous:

Bring 1 cup of water to the boil, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp olive oil. Add cous cous. Stir. Cover saucepan, and remove from heat. Leave for 3 mins.  After 3 mins, fluff cous cous grains with a fork. If cous cous is clumping, return to heat and add vegan margarine or olive oil; stir through with a fork to help the grains to separate.

7. Once root vegies are baked, add them to a large mixing bowl. Add cooked cous cous, white beans and other ingredients (except fresh herbs). Stir well.

8. Remove parchment/baking paper from the baking dish, and add the cous cous mixture:

9. Bake in oven for 10 mins.

10. Serve on plates. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.

11. We served our Vegie & Cous Cous Bake with a simple salad of baby spinach, lettuce, red onion, cucumber, mushroom, and tomato:


The tomatoes were fresh from my mum’s garden – yum!

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.



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