All posts tagged: food

A raw vegan experience


A few weeks ago, Team UNITED (so, just me) took up a raw vegan challenge – basically five days of eating in line with a raw vegan lifestyle. According to the internet, “raw veganism” is also sometimes referred to as “absolutely awful”, which we found to be more accurate.

The back-story is that when it comes to food and nutrition, about the only things I am confident in are broccoli and water. Everything else seems to be the most amazing thing ever, and dangerous, at the same time depending on who is telling the story. With this in mind, for …

UNITEDA raw vegan experience
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7 Day Barcode Ban: The outcome

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This was way harder than I expected. Seven days of meals without using any ingredients that were packaged or had a barcode on them certainly identified how convenient my eating habits had become.

[To skip to the crux of the experience, click here – dot points]

The first observation was how much preparation was required for each meal. The process of getting hungry and then eating something straight away has become a habit for me, so to actually plan ahead for every meal was a chore to begin with. I also established that without the aid of additives (oils, …

UNITED7 Day Barcode Ban: The outcome
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Top #5 breakfast venues in Brisbane

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…for vegetarians in Brisbane’s inner South East. Yes that is very specific.

Intro and caveats

Over the course of the last two and a half years or so, Mrs UNITED and I (yes that’s right, I’m married, sorry ladies) have journeyed across the inner South Eastern suburbs of Brisbane doing breakfast on most Friday mornings at any new and exciting establishments that we can find (I’ll be the one wearing at UNITED shirt, not because I am peddling my own brand, but because I don’t really have any other clothes). We aren’t “foodies”, so we certainly don’t have any credibility …

UNITEDTop #5 breakfast venues in Brisbane
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Black bean and sun-dried tomato pasta bake

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Apart from the cheese (and the pasta if you are anti pasta), the black bean sun-dried tomato pasta bake is a ripping healthy robust performer, particularly with winter on its way.

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 60 mins
Makes enough to feed six people who eat polite quantities, or four people who eat regular human quantities. 


  • 500g of pasta, your choice (long pasta probably won’t work very well though).
  • 500g of black beans. Note that a lot of the supermarket brand beans come in smart@ss sizes such as 437g and 525g. Anything between 400g
UNITEDBlack bean and sun-dried tomato pasta bake
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Five unusual Christmas foods that are quite… unusual

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Each year, my mum whips up her famous trifle. Though each year it is becoming more and more like a bowl of brandy that some cake pieces fell into. With that in mind, here are five highly unusual Christmas foods that you may care to avoid.

The unusual Christmas foods list

1. Fried Mopane (fried caterpillars), South Africa

Mopane caterpillars are large thick worms that live on the Mopane trees in South Africa. Mopane are black in colour with green and yellow bands wrapped around their bodies. They are scaly, and use short black or red spines as protection. The …

UNITEDFive unusual Christmas foods that are quite… unusual
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Zesty coconut balls

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Whilst it might sound like a suggestive high school nickname, zesty coconut balls are a top-shelf treat. These little babies are tasty, quick, and will take over your life.

Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 0 mins Total time: 20 mins
Makes about 12 golf ball sized treats


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 30ml lime juice


  1. Add the almonds and cashews to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until all nuts are finely chopped without any large chunks.
  3. Add the dates and lime juice and continue pulsing until the mixture
UNITEDZesty coconut balls
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Guilt-free banana bread with vanilla cream

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We published this recipe because a) it’s delicious, b) it’s natural, and c) it’s delicious.

Prep time: 20 mins Cooking time: 25 mins Total time: 45 mins
Makes one crowd-pleasing loaf


The loaf part

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour (gluten free flour works well)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar (or stevia if you are anti coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

The icing part

  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1/4 cup
UNITEDGuilt-free banana bread with vanilla cream
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Accidental chickpea and veggie burgers

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This came about by accident: it was either go to the supermarket, or try to make something with what was already in the house. Genius happened…

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 10 mins Total time: 20 mins
Makes six burgers


  • 2 cups of chickpeas (or a can of chickpeas if you have it)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of baby spinach, shredded
  • 1/2 a medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • Spices to taste


  1. Add chickpeas to a food processor and blitz until they are finely diced. They don’t need to become a paste,
UNITEDAccidental chickpea and veggie burgers
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Know your dietary tribe, part #2

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In part #1 we looked at the first five of 12 dietary tribes:

  1. Omnivore
  2. Macrobiotic
  3. Raw foodist
  4. Vegan
    a. Fruitarian
  5. Vegetarian
    a. Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian
    b. Lacto-vegetarian
    c. Ovo-vegetarian
    d. Ovo-lacto vegetarian
    e. Pescetarian
    d. Pollotarian

In this post we look at vegetarianism and the variations within the category – flexitarian or semi-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, pescetarian, and pollotarian.


Vegetarianism is an umbrella term encompassing a number of variations within a “meat free” or “meat restricted” lifestyle.

Vegetarianism is fundamentally a diet based on the removal or restriction of eating meats (including seafood and poultry) and the by-products …

UNITEDKnow your dietary tribe, part #2
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Know your dietary tribe, part #1

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[Part #2 here]

Across the next two Monday’s (including the one we are currently enjoying), we identify 12 (yep, twelve!) dietary tribes and outline what makes them what the are. We have left Paleo out largely because we covered it here.

Who makes the 12 tribes?

Most of us know the main ones – veganism and vegetarianism for example, but there are a few which you may not know so well:

  1. Omnivore
  2. Macrobiotic
  3. Raw foodist
  4. Vegan
    a. Fruitarian
  5. Vegetarian
    a. Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian
    b. Lacto-vegetarian
    c. Ovo-vegetarian
    d. Ovo-lacto vegetarian
    e. Pescetarian
    d. Pollotarian

In this post …

UNITEDKnow your dietary tribe, part #1
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Sugar free, gluten free, paleo banana bread

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Everyone loves banana bread, and EVERYONE can love this one! Sugar free, gluten free, meat free, and paleo. Everyone’s a winner. Be advised that we have successfully executed this recipe on numerous occasions, though we have had a couple of failures for reasons we can’t be sure. If you experience failure, remember that banana bread makes a great gift.

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 60 mins
Makes one medium sized loaf


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 – 3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 3/4 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond
UNITEDSugar free, gluten free, paleo banana bread
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Sweet potato and haloumi salad

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Yep, it’s a thing and it’s life changing.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 400g haloumi cheese, diced into 1cm cubes (supermarket haloumi can be a bit salty so if you can get to a deli you may be able to source nicer haloumi)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onions
  • Mixed salad leaves
  • Olive oil (avocado or macadamia oil will also work)


  • Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

Get to it!

  1. Place the
UNITEDSweet potato and haloumi salad
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I’d like to get healthy…

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A couple of weeks ago, a colleague of ours who is not currently in the greatest of shape emailed us with a product he was considering substituting into his diet to replace a few meals in order to lose weight. He had heard about meal replacement shakes and regular protein shakes and thought it may be worth investing in a few serves to help him achieve his desired size. The truth is that weight control and general food health had always been an issue for this colleague and despite trying numerous regimes, had never been able to establish a consistently …

UNITEDI’d like to get healthy…
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Sweet potato brownies

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Brownies: probably the best thing in the world. Just a shame they are loaded with all kinds of disastrous ingredients that will ruin our lives. Or so we thought…

Ingredients for sweet potato brownies

We test drove these on some colleagues and they absolutely loved them. When we told them what was in them, they freaked out:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup of cold sweet potato puree
    • To make sweet potato puree, peel, dice, and boil sweet potato until it is soft enough to mash easily
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup raw
UNITEDSweet potato brownies
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Swedeballs (meatless Swedish meatballs)

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Oh mumma. These little devils are delicious, healthy, and versatile.

What’s in meatless Swedish meatballs?

You can mix this up however you like but this was our choice of ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Den metod (Swedish for “The method”)

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine oats and vegetable stock and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.
UNITEDSwedeballs (meatless Swedish meatballs)
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Raw Twix Slice

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Bottom layer:
1 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of raw honey
Pinch of salt

Caramel layer:
100 grams of dates
4 tbsp of natural peanut butter
3-4 tbsp of water

Chocolate topping:
3 tbsp of raw honey
4 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp water

Or alternatively, melted raw dark chocolate.


In a food processor or blender, mix bottom layer ingredients until smooth. Scoop mixture into a oiled brownie pan for the bottom layer. Repeat for the caramel layer and refrigerate for 15 mins.

For the chocolate layer, melt the coconut oil with the cacao …

UNITEDRaw Twix Slice
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