Plant-based pleasures

Plant over processed is Andrea Hannemann’s mantra.

Plant Over Processed, by Andrea  Hannemann, published by Harper Collins, RRP$45
Plant Over Processed, by Andrea Hannemann, published by Harper Collins, RRP$45
The Hawaiian-based Canadian began her journey to a mostly plant-based diet by deciding she would choose plant-based foods over processed for a month. She has never looked back.

Hannemann, like many who put out plant-based recipe books these days, was seeking solutions to her own health problems, having been diagnosed with celiac disease and hypothyroidism.

"I had convinced myself that eating fruits and vegetables and starches caused me to bloat, so I avoided these foods like the plague."

Instead, she ate meat, protein bars and shakes loaded with artificial sweeteners.

But then she decided to try a plant-based diet for a month, even though her husband worked in his family’s burger bar.

She made it a goal to eat 80% of her daily calories from living plant foods and decided to eat the first two meals of the day raw. Only dinner was cooked.

Her digestion improved and she started to feel good, so she continued. Now, four years later, her family’s diet, including that of her three boys, is predominantly plant-based.

"Eating plant-based means feeding your body with nutrient-dense whole foods that are primarily [or entirely] derived from plants, with few [or no] animal products. Beyond that, the details are up to you."

She urges people to find a way of eating that suits their body and supports their lifestyle.

"Our bodies are all different and we all have different health needs and goals."

Her book includes a 30-day plant over processed challenge and advice on stocking the kitchen for a plant-based diet.

The recipe section is broken into sections on smoothies, breakfasts, earth bowls and salads, lunches and dinners, soups and curries, sides, snacks and desserts.

Caramel chewies

Dates are nature’s candy, full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre! I love them for baking, smoothies, and just on their own. But more than anything, I love them in these decadent, all-natural caramel chewies!

Serves 12

Prep time 8 minutes

Total time 1 hour

12 Medjool dates

¼ cup natural peanut butter or almond butter

¼ cup vegan chocolate chips

¼ cup crushed peanuts or slivered

almonds (optional)

sea salt for sprinkling


1. Slice each date open enough to remove the pit. Fill each date with 1teaspoon of the peanut butter or almond butter. Arrange the dates on a baking sheet or plate.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for 30 seconds to 1minute, stir to create a smooth chocolate sauce, and drizzle over each date.

3. Sprinkle each date with the crushed peanuts or slivered almonds and a tiny bit of salt.

4. Freeze the dates for at least 1 hour for the best texture before serving. The dates can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 30 days.

Nach-Yo Everyday Cheese Sauce 

This vegan cheese sauce is going to blow your mind and your taste buds! Use it as a dip for raw veges or as a drizzle over steamed vegetables.

Put it on rice, nachos, tacos, baked potatoes whatever you like! This recipe is a favourite on my Instagram, and I hope it will become your favourite, too!

Serves 4-8

Prep time 10 minutes

Total time 30 minutes

2 cups peeled and chopped potato

1 cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

extra virgin olive oil (optional)

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp sea salt, plus more as needed

freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)


1. In a large pot, combine the potato, carrot, onion, garlic, and a little water or olive oil, if using, and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, then cover with an additional 2 cups hot water and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer everything from the pot into a food processor or blender. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, and an additional half cup water.

3. Blend on high speed until the sauce is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.

4. Season with black pepper and add the hot sauce, if using, and a little more salt if needed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Beach bum chilli

After a long day at the beach surfing and playing in the shore break, there’s no better meal to come home to than a warm bowl of chilli! When my husband and his six brothers were growing up, they’d spend all day surfing together, and when the sun went down this was their favourite meal to enjoy. This is a simple, delicious dish to warm your belly and soul, and I promise you, it has so much flavour, you won’t even miss the meat.

Serves 6-8

Prep time 25 minutes

Total time 1 hour 10 minutes

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 red capsicum, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

½ tsp sea salt

1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)

1 Tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

2 400g cans diced tomatoes

2 400g cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 400g can kidney or pinto beans,

drained and rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth or filtered water

1 bay leaf

½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves,

plus more for garnish

1½ tsp red wine vinegar or lime juice, or to taste

Suggested toppings and garnishes

chopped coriander

sliced avocado

tortilla chips

Nach-Yo Everyday Cheese Sauce (see recipe)


1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, capsicum, carrots, celery, and quarter of a teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and slightly browned.

2. Add the garlic, chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until well combined and the garlic has a chance to cook.

3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the black beans, kidney beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chilli from the heat.

4. Transfer one and a-half cups of the chilli to a blender, making sure to get some of the liquid. Securely fasten the lid and blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. Alternately, you can blend the chilli briefly with an immersion blender or mash it with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker consistency. Add the chopped coriander and vinegar or lime juice. Add the remaining quarter of a teaspoon of salt and combine well.

5. Divide the mixture among individual bowls and serve with your choice of garnishes. The chilli will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or you can freeze it for up to 1 month.

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