{Vegan MoFo} Freaky Friday: A hearty soup, pumpkin coffee, and chocolate for breakfast

Today, on Freaky Friday, I highlight recipes from three bloggers who are participating in Vegan MoFo.

First cab off the rank…

Homestyle Split Pea Soup by Vegan Flavorista.

When cooler weather and strong winds descended this week, this simple and tasty soup brought much comfort.

The recipe consists of carrot, celery, onion, vegetable stock, garlic, and green split peas. My pantry was a little low on green split peas, so I made up the difference with yellow split peas and red lentils.


The recipe requires 1 pound of green split peas (approx. 450g). I used 250g green, 170g yellow, and 30g red lentils. I also increased the garlic content from 1 clove to 3, and the liquid content from 6 cups to 7.

This soup cooks in a slow-cooker (crockpot), but could easily be adapted to stove-top cooking. My slow-cooker had not made an appearance during winter, so it was a novelty to bring it out of captivity. The delicious smells of soup wafted through the house.

The recipe directs readers to cook the soup on low for 4 – 4.5 hours. We cooked our soup on low for 5 hours, then turned the slow cooker onto the high-setting for 3 additional hours (a total of 8 hours cooking time).

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, inspected his soup, and announced enthusiastically: ‘This looks like it tastes nice’. And it did! It was tasty and satisfying.

The recipe is available here.


Pumpkin Spiced Cappuccino by Two Cups of Love.


Pumpkin and coffee?! It sounds strange to me.

As someone who uses pumpkin in soups and curries, or roasts them with other vegetables, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe at Two Cups of Love. 

You could call this drink a pumpkin-spiced espresso smoothie.

To a high-speed blender, I added: organic soy milk; a shot of freshly brewed coffee; mashed, cooked pumpkin; ice cubes; a combination of spices: ginger, allspice, cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I poured the drink into a tall glass, added a couple of ice cubes, and sprinkled some freshly grated nutmeg across the top.

Unexpectedly delicious! And refreshing. The combination of coffee and spices is delightful.

The recipe is available here.


Chocolate Overnight Oats by Carrie On Vegan


Today, my daughter and I enjoyed chocolate overnight oats for breakfast.

A friend met me at my house early this morning, and we drove to a nearby beach side town for a morning of ocean kayaking.*

Last night, as I was preparing my gear for the kayaking trip, it occurred to me I would need a decent, filling breakfast that was simple and quick to prepare. A green smoothie was not an option, as I didn’t want to risk waking the rest of the family with a noisy, whizzing Blendtec.  I recalled Carrie’s chocolate overnight oats recipe, and it seemed like a perfect occasion to try overnight oats for the first time.

The recipe consists of: goji berries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, cocoa, cinnamon, blueberries, soy milk and oats (I used ‘gluten-free’ oats).

I doubled the soy milk, added frozen organic raspberries, reduced the quantities of blueberries and goji berries, added rice protein powder, and used raw cacao powder (doubled) rather than cocoa.

The oats were satisfying, decadent and scrumptious. The perfect fuel for a morning of kayaking.

The recipe is available here.


* Before our kayak adventure commenced, an instructor told the group there was a 90% chance of spotting dolphins. Approximately 400 dolphins live in the area. He also told us there was a really good chance we would see a humpback whale (or whales), as it is peak whale watching season.

Well, we didn’t see any dolphins. Not one. Not a fin.

We did see a whale from the shore during our ‘tea break’, but he or she decided to vacate the area when the crazy bunch of paddling humans entered the water again. Someone may have seen a green turtle’s bobbing head.

We saw a butterfly. Who knew they flew so far out from the shore?

The kayaking tour company offers a ‘wildlife-spotting guarantee’. So, my friend and I are able to book in on another occasion – at no cost. :)

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Thai Green Curry Vegetable Soup

soupheadingWinter extended her clutches this week, knocking Spring from her cosy perch. First, we were greeted with cool breezes and cloud cover. Then in a demonstration of might, teeming rain descended during the darkness. The type of rain that prompts you to hope that the roof is free of holes.

With Winter knocking on our door, a warming soup was required.

This recipe features sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, kaffir lime leaves, green curry paste, fresh lime juice, coconut milk and coriander leaves.



Serves 3 as a main, or 4 as an entree (appetiser)

575g/4 cups Kent pumpkin (or your preferred variety), chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

 1 generous cup of diced sweet potato 

1 medium brown onion, chopped

3 cups gluten-free vegetable stock

2-4 teaspoons of green curry paste (store-bought or homemade)

2 dried kaffir lime leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup coconut cream

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

fresh corinader leaves for garnish

4 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts for garnish


1. Dry-roast 4 whole macadamia nuts in a fry pan, until lightly golden in colour. Cut each nut in half and set aside to cool.

2. Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and saute until soft, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the garlic and curry paste (the quantity depends on the level of spiciness desired), and stir well. Heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the paste.

5. Add the stock and kaffir lime leaves, and stir well. Cover the saucepan and bring the liquid to the boil. Lower heat, and simmer until the vegetables soften (about 20 minutes).

6. Remove the kaffir lime leaves. Puree the vegetables using a blender or immersion blender. If using an immersion blender, perform this step immediately. If using a blender, allow the soup to cool slightly before pouring it into the blender jug.

7. Once the soup has been pureed (and returned to the saucepan if using a blender), add the coconut cream and lime juice to the saucepan. Stir well. Heat the soup gently for a few minutes prior to serving.

8. Serve the soup, and garnish with coriander leaves and 2 macadamia halves. If serving as a main meal, prepare a side dish of baked vegetables or steamed green vegetables.

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, is not enamoured with pumpkin-based soups. The fact that this soup contained pumpkin was not revealed to him verbally. However, the colour of the soup was a giveaway. To his credit, he tried the soup – and he liked it.  I used a ‘kid-friendly’ amount of curry paste, and the other tiny vegans enjoyed their soup. 



{Recipe} Baked Pumpkin, Cherry Tomato, and Brown Lentil Tart

Today’s recipe is nutritious, delicious, and gluten-free.



…Baked Pumpkin, Cherry Tomato, and Brown Lentil Tart. 

There are 3 separate ‘steps’ to this recipe: the pastry, the marinade, and the tart filling. But it is simple, I promise. :)

The pastry consists of Brazil nuts and brown rice flour. If you do not require your pastry crust to have gluten-free status, you can use wheat flour or spelt flour instead. All of the pastry ingredients are flung into a food processor. Simple.

The sweet potato is baked in a marinade of tomato paste, garlic, and balsamic vinegar before joining the brown lentils, cherry tomatoes, and spring onions in the crust.


Be sure to use a variety of pumpkin that maintains its shape when baked, such as Butternut or Kent (also known as Jap). You do not want mushy pumpkin!

I use a metal tart pan with a removable base to prepare this tart (click here for an image). This tart will serve comfortably four people as a main meal.



(Based on a recipe in Vegan Cooking: Recipes for a Peaceful World by Diipali Lilburne & Amanda Quinn)


1/2 cup Brazil nuts

1/2 cup almonds

1 cup brown rice flour (or wholemeal wheat or spelt flour)

1/4 cup organic cornflour

2 Tbsp olive oil

6 Tbsp rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)


1. Add the nuts and flours to a food processor, and process until a bread crumb consistency is reached.

2. Add the oil and non-dairy milk. Process until a ball of dough forms.

3. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and knead for a couple of minutes.

4. Press the dough into a tart pan with the palm of your hand. Use your fingers to press the dough upwards, into the sides of the pan.

5. Chill the tart pan in the fridge while you prepare the marinade and other ingredients. Remove the pan from the fridge after 10 minutes.




3 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed


1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl or jug and whisk with a fork until combined. Set aside.


Tart Filling


(Inspired by a recipe in Vegan Cooking: Recipes for a Peaceful World by Diipali Lilburne & Amanda Quinn)


3 cups kent or butternut pumpkin, chopped into 2cm cubes

2 Tbsp chopped spring onions (shallots)

12 cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup)

3/4 cup cooked brown lentils

Sesame seeds


Fresh parsley leaves, torn


1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (fan force oven)/350F.

2. Add chopped pumpkin to a large mixing bowl. Pour the marinade over the pumpkin, and mix until the pumpkin is well coated.

3. Transfer the pumpkin to a large baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, and mix the pumpkin with a spoon. Return the dish to the oven for 5 minutes.

4. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked pumpkin, lentils, spring onions, and tomatoes. Add a pinch or two of salt. Mix well, but gently.

5. Scoop the filling onto the pastry crust, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

6. Allow tart pan to cool slightly before removing the tart.

7. Sprinkle tart with torn parsley leaves, and serve with salad.



Place leftovers in a covered container in the fridge. This tart is delicious the next day. Heat leftovers in a (pre-heated) moderate oven for 10 -15 minutes.

What did the tiny vegans think of the tart?

The 4 year-old and 6 year-old tiny vegans were not at all keen on this recipe. Our Least Adventurous Eater took one look at the tart and declared that he did not want to eat any.

My 4 year old attempted to eat some after asking whether the tart would be named after him! Least Adventurous Eater has a recipe named after him, so Master 4 felt it only fair that he should receive the same honour.

'Does this dinner have my name'?

‘Does this dinner have my name’?

Despite the tart being newly bestowed with his name, he could not bring himself to eat it. Then, a panel of his peers (well, his older brother and sister!) decided that the tart should not carry his name after all. Master 6 argued convincingly that one must only share the name of a recipe that one actually enjoys. Who can argue with that logic? So, Baked Pumpkin, Cherry Tomato, and Brown Lentil Tart it shall remain.

My daughter (who, incidentally, does not have a recipe named after her) thoroughly enjoyed the tart, and happily fronted up for leftovers the next day.


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

I hope you all enjoyed the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I certainly did! If you missed it, or want to refresh your memory to assist with voting, start here

Yes, you are able to vote for your favourite recipe in each category. Not any easy task, I know! Click here to vote. Voting closes on 31 May.


{Virtual Vegan Potluck} Moroccan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew

Hello friends! :)

Welcome to Made of Stars and the Virtual Vegan Potluck.

I’m glad you are here. I prepared a flavoursome meal to share with you – Moroccan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew. I hope there’s some crusty bread left! You’ll want to mop up every last drop of sauce.


This recipe features butternut pumpkin, orange sweet potato, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper, and fresh ginger. It is fragrant, warming, and tasty. Maple syrup and plump raisins bestow a satisfying and subtle sweetness to each mouthful. A sprinkling of coriander leaves add vibrant colour.

The delectable medley of flavours is greatly enhanced by the joyful company of friends – both old and new.

Make yourself at home, relax, and please pass the bread. Can I pour you a drink?


Moroccan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew

(adapted from a recipe by T. Mallos in The Food of Morocco)

Serves 4


1/3 cup water

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 cinnamon stick

A generous pinch of cayenne pepper

500ml/2 cups vegetable stock

600g/1 lb 5 oz butternut pumpkin (squash), peeled and cubed

500g /1 lb 2 oz orange sweet potato, peeled and cubed

A tightly packed 1/3 cup raisins

1 Tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar

Black pepper

Coriander (cilantro) leaves, torn


1. Add the water to a large saucepan, and heat. Add chopped onions and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Stir over low heat for 1 minute.

3. Pour in the vegetable stock, then increase the heat to medium.  Cover the saucepan, and bring to the boil.

4. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, raisins, and maple syrup. Stir. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

5. Cover the saucepan, and simmer on a low heat until the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

6. Remove the cinnamon stick. Transfer vegetables to a serving bowl and sprinkle with coriander (cilantro) leaves.

Variation: Add 1/2 cup of cooked or canned chickpeas to the saucepan for the final 5 minutes of cooking time.



Serve Moroccan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew with whole grain couscous, mujaddaraor riceDon’t forget the crusty bread. ;)

Notably, this recipe is simple to prepare, and it copes well with being re-heated. These qualities ensure that it is a worthy option for communal feasts.


Thanks for visiting the Virtual Vegan Potluck. I have enjoyed your cheerful company, and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Your food journey continues…..

There are many more delicious main meals on offer, but make sure you leave room for dessert. :)

Click here to visit the next participant in line, Poppy’s Patisserie.  Say ‘hi’ to Poppy for me.

If you missed Veggisima, and want to go back, click here. You don’t want to miss Veggisima!

If you missed out on an appetizer, or would like more crusty bread, click here to visit Vegan Bloggers Unite! where you will find a full list of participants, classified by category.


Go Forward

….to Poppy’s Patisserie.


Go Back

….to Veggisima.

I extend my gratitude to Annie from An Unrefined Vegan. Thank you, Annie, for all of your hard work and enthusiasm in organising the Virtual Vegan Potluck.

My sincere thanks to Somer, Lidia, and Jason for their dedication and commitment to the VVP.


{Recipe} Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Grape Tomato Salad | Zesty Lemon Dressing

It was time for salad….


…..We were halfway through our Sydney vegan eating tour holiday.

Mixed Berry ice creams, Vegan's Choice, Newtown

Mixed Berry ice creams,
Vegan’s Choice, Newtown

We had (over) indulged in yum cha, Thai food, Chinese food, tofu ice cream, baked cheesecakes, raw cheesecakes, cupcakes……More temptations awaited us in the days ahead. I was beginning to fear that my jeans would require alterations.

Salad-therapy was required!

I prepared Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Grape Tomato Salad for a family dinner at my sister-in-law’s house. She prepared a delicious rice salad and a scrumptious roast vegetable dish. Perhaps a healthy dose of salads would negate some of the sugary morsels that I had enthusiastically consumed? Well, one can have hope!


Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Grape Tomato Salad with Zesty Lemon Dressing

Serves 6-8 as a side dish


2 cups chopped pumpkin

1 1/4 cups /200g grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

3 1/2 tightly packed cups /120g  mixed lettuce leaves

1 cup chickpeas, cooked or tinned

1 avocado, sliced

1/8 cup chopped red onion

1/8 cup walnut pieces

For the dressing:

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp hommus

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp tamari/soy sauce


1. Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a moderate oven (180C/350F) for 20-25 mins. While pumpkin is baking, prepare the other ingredients.

2. Spread a large serving platter with the lettuce leaves.

3. Scatter the lettuce with grape tomatoes, chickpeas, walnuts, onions, and avocado.

4. Once the pumpkin is cooked, add it to the platter.

5. For the dressing: Add all of the ingredients to a small jar. Stir with a fork, then screw on the lid, and shake the jar until ingredients are mixed well.

6. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.


What foods do you turn to when you have over-indulged on treats and restaurant meals? When was the last time you over-indulged?

Every Monday, I share a delicious vegan meal that is enjoyed by my family. I sincerely hope that your family enjoys it too. 

I am submitting this recipe to Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check out the recipes for delicious inspiration!

{Recipe} Pumpkin Lasagne

Yes, another pumpkin recipe! A savoury one this time.

Today’s recipe was created by the very talented Adele of Vegie Head. I have prepared several Vegie Head recipes, and each has been delectable. This one is my favourite.

I made pumpkin lasagne for the first time when I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. I offered to make the main dish. It’s always a bit risky to make a recipe for the very first time when you are going to be serving it to people outside your immediate family! But, as I expected, this dish was a success. It was devoured in no time!

And, it quickly became a family favourite.

The original recipe is available here (scroll down). After having made this lasagne several times, I have tweaked it a tiny bit to suit my family.

Quantity – Serves 6

You will need:

4 cups pumkin, diced (I use Kent)

dried lasagne sheets (I use wholemeal)

1 jar of store bought passata sauce (680g) *

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup fresh basil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup raw cashews (do not soak)

2 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I use almond)

1 cup water

3/4 cup savoury yeast flakes (i.e nutritional yeast)

1 tsp miso paste (if you don’t have miso, substitute with up to 1tsp salt)

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp rice flour (or corn flour or plain wheat flour)

fresh black pepper, to taste

1/4 – 1/2 cup non-dairy cheese, grated (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F

Spread diced pumpkin evenly on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil (optional). Bake for 30 mins:

In a food processor, chop the spinach and basil, and add the tablespoon of olive oil. Combine. Set aside:

In a food processor or high-powered blender, process the cashews until they become a fine flour (I like to leave the cashews a little bit chunky, so I use a food processor):

In a saucepan, combine the water and non-dairy milk. Bring to a gentle boil. Add yeast flakes, ground cashews, miso paste, lemon juice, rice flour, pepper. Whisk until smooth. Simmer, and stir occasionally. The sauce will thicken. Set aside. The savoury yeast gives this sauce a cheesy taste:

Pour some passata sauce into a large baking dish. Spread evenly across the bottom, using the back of a spoon. (This step is important, as it ensures that the bottom lasagne sheets cook properly).

Layer in the following order: lasagne sheets**, passata sauce, basil & spinach pesto, pumpkin, cashew sauce. Repeat until the pumpkin and pesto have been used up:

For the final layer, cover lasagne sheets with the remaining passata sauce, then top with the remaining cashew sauce (there is no need to be neat about it!).

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Remove the foil and sprinkle the top of the lasagne with non-dairy cheese (optional) -we used Notzarella:

Return baking dish, uncovered, to the oven and bake for a further 15-2o minutes.

This lasagne is truly scrumptious:


Serve with a salad of raw cucumber, tomato, red onion, lettuce, baby spinach, red capsicum (bell pepper) and avocado.

This recipe is included here with the permission of Adele McConnell of Vegie Head. Thanks Adele. :)


* Last night, we used homemade, fresh lasagne sheets.

 Yes, Mat had the pasta machine out again!

 The lasagne only requires baking for 20 minutes (covered) if using fresh pasta sheets. Once foil is removed, bake for a further 15-20 minutes.

** In place of passata sauce, you could use a large tin (810g) of chopped tomatoes, pureed.

 I have listed substitutes so that you do not have to run out to buy miso or rice flour, for example, if you do not already have them on hand. By all means, run out and buy them if you want to, but know that you can use substitutes if that is the easier option.

This recipe can be made in stages. Sometimes I bake the pumpkin earlier in the day, then store it in the fridge until moments before I am ready to assemble the lasagne. The pesto could be made ahead of time too.

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


{Recipe} Pumpkin Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

In Winter, we were fortunate to harvest several pumpkins from our backyard vine.

During our search for pumpkin recipes, my daughter and I discovered Dreena Burton’s Pumpkin Cake. It was my first foray into using pumpkin in sweet recipes – and it was a huge success. The cake was moist, moreish and scrumptious. A new family favourite!

Today’s post is a cupcake and muffin version of Dreena’s pumpkin cake. This batch will give you decadent cupcakes for afternoon tea and (healthier) pumpkin and pecan muffins for the kids’ lunchboxes.

Quantity – 10 frosted cupcakes & 6 pecan-topped muffins

Recipe available here.

Read on for the method to make cupcakes and muffins.



Once the batter is prepared, scoop it into 10 silicone cupcake cups.

Coarsely chop 6 pecans.

Add the chopped pecans to remaining batter. Combine well.

Scoop the pecan batter into the remaining silicone cupcake cups.

Place a pecan on top of the cups that contain the pecan batter.

 Bake in a pre-heated oven 180 degrees C /350 deg F for approximately 12 -14mins (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).


 I iced the cupcakes with No-Butter Cream Frosting from Dreena’s fabulous book ‘Let Them Eat Vegan’. This frosting contains coconut butter and coconut oil. If you do not have access to this recipe, I would suggest using Dreena’s Macadamia Mallow Frosting instead. Click here for the recipe.

Serve frosted cupcakes for afternoon tea, with cups of coffee or tea.

Pop a muffin in the lunchbox for school.

The remaining muffins can be frozen.

If you make a combination of cupcakes and muffins, as I have, you will have frosting left over. You can store the remaining frosting in the fridge (as I do) to use for your next batch of cupcakes – or as a topping for pancakes. Alternatively, you can halve the ingredients in the recipe.


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




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