Aussie “Steak, Bacon and Cheese Pies”(Vegan).

Sadly in Australia we do not have many traditional dishes, however one of them is a pie!! This is my take on a vegan steak, bacon and cheese pie. I used to love getting these as a treat a a child, and now I share then to the world as a adult.

Ingredients 

(Mushroom Gravy)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 onion, finely sliced
100g mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
bunch fresh herbs(rosemary etc)

Filling
600g vegan mince(IVP or vegan mince)
6 slices vegan bacon, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
300g vegan cheese, grated

Pastry
2 teaspoons vegan butter
12 sheets puff pastry

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Mushroom Gravy
1. Heat butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add flour, Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2. Slowing add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly too prevent lumps for forming. Cooking for 3 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Season with salt and pepper, nutritional yeast and fresh herbs. Adjust liquid quantity to achieve consistency you require.

3. Leave to simmer on a low heat until filling is complete.

Filling

1. Heat oil in medium frying pan over. Add vegan mince, cook for 10 minutes. Add vegan bacon and stir until cooked. (Around 15 minutes in total).

2. Once cooked, add mince to mushroom gravy mixture and set aside.

Pie
1. While the mince is cooking, grease 2 muffins tray with vegan butter.
2. Cut 12 puff pastry sheets into quarters and put each quarter in a muffin tin, until you have 24 lined.
3. Add a tablespoon of the mince mixture into the middle of the puff pastry muffin tins. Then add a small amount of the vegan cheese. Fold over the extra pastry to close the top of the pies.
4. Coat the top of the pies with a small amount of vegan butter,cook in the oven for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve with a desired salad.

Warm Winter Protein Power Salad

This is a super yummy salad that can be served as a side or main dish. It’s super quick and easy to make and you will most likely already have most of the ingredients on hand. Super great in winter and a way to make sure you are getting protein.

Ingredients
1 can of butter beans(or bean of choice)
6 large leaves of kale
1 peeled onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 small chili
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
small amount of fresh herbs(brazil, rosemary, chives etc)
1 teaspoon of vegan butter
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 cup of quinoa
500g of fresh baby spinach
small amount of chopped cherry tomatoes
fresh olives if desired

Method
1. Heat stove and cook quinoa as stated on the packet of the particular quinoa you have – while the quinoa is cooking begin on the next step.

2. Drain and rinse beans, then add to food processor. Add all other ingredients to the food processor (bar the spinach, olives and lemon) and blend well.

3. Once everything is blended together(into a smooth texture), put this mixture on a frypan on a high heat with vegetable oil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.

4. Reduce pan to medium heat and add spinach and tomatoes. Once the spinach has reduced in size stop cooking.

5. Add this mixture to the cooked quinoa and stir well.

6. Add in the olives and as much lemon juice as suits your taste and stir.


Enjoy.

My Guide to San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico(Vegan Eating Options)

After spending quite a few months on Island Holbox, Mexico I was seeking a new adventure with no idea of what to do. “Go to San Cristobal, you will love it.” said my good friend. So the next day I left and took a 24 hour ADO bus from Cancun to San Cristobal (950 pesos) and arrived in this lovely city high in the mountains.

I really had no idea what to expect from San Cristobal but safe to say, its a city worth visiting full of art, textiles, mayan culture and a load of cafes with vegan food. After spending 1 month in this awesome place, these are my tips to the city.

Places to Stay

Hostel Iguana is a lovely hostel located near the main food markets. With an amazing garden and view over the mountains, its great to chill or party. They have yoga daily, a funky bar and cooked breakfast that changes everyday. Beds range from 150 to 180 depending of the seasons.
http://iguanahostel.com/

Vegan Places to Eat

San Cristobal is a vegan’s heaven, which a nice change while traveling in Mexico. While there are any endless amount of cafes, these are my top picks.

Todo Vegano
Located on the main tourist street, this place has so many vegan snacks and even sell VEGAN CHEESE to take away. Try the chicken dumplings 30 pesos and delicious.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/todo-vegano-san-crist%C3%B3bal-de-las-casas

Falafel
As the name states this places is the best town in town to get your falafel fix. Head there on a Sunday or Tuesday to get 2 for 1. A falafel wrap will sent you back about 65 pesos.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g150802-d1414011-Reviews-Falafel-San_Cristobal_de_las_Casas_Southern_Mexico.html

Jardin Tonantzin


This place is next door to Todo Vegano, with quiet a few vegan options. But please do yourself a favor and have a hot chocolate with coconut milk. It is amazing. Vegan burger is also good but ask for it with no mayo!!!

https://www.facebook.com/Jardin-Tonantzin-1535575426751776/?rf=253604561508638

Cocolicie

While this restaurant its my personally they best place to eat in the city.  Their pasta is amazing but they also sell curry. You have to ask to have things made vegan. The wine list is great and vegan friendly. During weeknights, they have live music from jazz to rock. Its a lively funky place. You feel like your in funky bar in Berlin, New York or even Melbourne. 

Places to Party

Revolucion

One of the main bars/clubs to out this place is funky. Tuesday night is Salsa night so get your grove on. Upstaris is really fun also dont forget to check it out.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g664450-d2139049-Reviews-Cafe_Bar_Revolucion-Chiapas_Southern_Mexico.html

La Vina De Bacco

Love this wine bar with a epic range of wines from all over the world this place is great. If you get a bottle of wine you also get free tapas. Glass of great wine start from 25 pesos.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g150802-d1965913-Reviews-La_Vina_de_Bacco-San_Cristobal_de_las_Casas_Southern_Mexico.html

Places to sightsee and explore.

Free Walking Tour
There is a free walking tour that runs at 10 am and 5pm from the town center. It goes from about 4 hours and is a great way to get some knowledge of the city.

Centro De Textiles Del Mundo
Amazing place if your interested in Textiles from the local Mexicans.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g150802-d3857074-Reviews-Centro_de_Textiles_del_Mundo_Maya-San_Cristobal_de_las_Casas_Southern_Mexico.html

Mercado Municipal

This is the main food market in San Cris and its heaven. Local vendors sell an endless amount of fresh fruit and vegetables at prices you cant believe. Spend your time walking around. Also you can find an endless amount of beans and dry soy. If your vegan just avoid the meat section.

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/place/Mercado+%22Jos%C3%A9+Castillo+Tielemans%22/@16.7434772,-92.6369602,18z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xc43d0f8cdea76a99!2sIguana+Hostel!8m2!3d16.741746!4d-92.6360482!3m4!1s0x0:0x5740271d9457dc5b!8m2!3d16.7433803!4d-92.6363432

Sna Jolobil 

Great place to do some shopping for local Mexican things.
https://www.google.com.mx/maps/place/Sna+Jolobil/@16.7425011,-92.6381457,18z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xc43d0f8cdea76a99!2sIguana+Hostel!8m2!3d16.741746!4d-92.6360482!3m4!1s0x0:0x954a8c096d312495!8m2!3d16.742123!4d-92.6379941

Day Trips

San Cristobal is so close to many amazing national parks and adventures to explore the beauty of Chipas.

Canon Del Sumidero

This is a amazing Canon, a few hours from the city, where you can see monkeys and variety of wildlife. You can ask tour companies in the center for a tour. Its will sent you back around 200-400 pesos. The tour is worth it.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g664450-d1925372-Reviews-Canon_del_Sumidero-Chiapas_Southern_Mexico.html

Chiflon Falls

Another waterfall about two hours from San Cristobal, you can do a tour or get a collectivo from the ADO station. I stayed the night here and was worth it. Camping cost 30 pesos per person or cabins start from 500 pesos. There is nothing better then waking up next to these amazing waterfalls. A collective plus entrance is around 140 pesos.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g1732578-d4931650-Reviews-Cascada_El_Chiflon-Comitan_Southern_Mexico.html

Palenque and Aqua Azul!!!!

Many people do a few days in Palenque, however I just stayed the day there. Aqua Azul are amazing waterfalls that are clear blue and will take your breath away. Then once you get to Palenque spend your time walking around one of the biggest Mayan Ruins in the world. Its great to get a guide for the park, they are full with so much information and take you places that you cant go without it. It was 100 pesos for 14 people to do the tour in the park. However if coming from San Cristobal to Palenque its great to get a tour from the city. As you get to see two waterfalls and the park with all transport. This costs around 350 to 500 depending what company you go through compared to the ADO bus which is already starting at 320 pesos.

http://www.turismochiapas.gob.mx/sectur/palenque

Overall San Cristobal de Las Casas is a city that cant be missed in Mexico. With so much culture and things to do it is a must for everyone. Get blow away from how people from all around the world come to this charming and call it home.

If you have any questions or tips please free feel to message me.

Enjoy
IMG_1666.JPG

IMG_0812.JPG

11 Reasons you should travel the world alone

Have you ever wanted to travel to an amazing destination, or perhaps pack your bag and see the wonderful sights of the world for six months or more. For many, people this is the case. However some of us of have fear to do so, the world can be a scary place! Perhaps you don’t have anyone to travel with or no  one wants to go to your chosen country. But let me assure you this should not hold you back. While I have travelled with people and also in groups at times, most of all my travel I did alone, starting at 18 with nothing but a backpack. This time period of traveling myself for a few years, is the best thing I have ever done. And these are the reasons you should do so. ..

1.Freedom

One of the best things to experience in life is nothing, utter freedom. Traveling alone you have no responsibilities and your free to go wherever you want to rome. You could be in Asia one day and the next randomly book a flight to Europe. You can go with the flow, and the best thing is you find a place you want to stay for longer you can do so. For the first time in life you don’t have to worry about people in your daily life, and for a time this is freshening.

2.The people

Meeting friends and even partners on the road, is what makes traveling alone amazing. Normally if you traveling with friends, your most likely to just hang with them. But when your alone you don’t have this, your forced to talk to strangers and meet people from all walks of life. This will not only open your mind, but you will discover you can be friends with people you didn’t even know exist. You will meet countless people over your travels that will blow your away, some you will ever see again but other you will be life long friends with .

3. You learn there truly are lovely people in the world

Traveling in general can place you some very random circumstances, and without a friends to depend on sometimes you need to seek the help of a stranger. Whether it’s being lost in a country, serve sickness or just finding a place to stay at night. You will learn there are some many lovely people in the world willing to help if you just ask. You find that instead of the world being scary, there are amazing people everywhere and most don’t expect anything in return if you ask for help.

4. You boost your self-confidence

Even if you have self-confidence before you leave for traveling, you find something greater from solo travel. After doing many things, maybe you didn’t even know it was possible for you to achieve. From trekking a mountain and pushing yourself into new things, you learn how to be comfortable with your decisions and learn to trust your them without anyone’s approval.  You will also gain a feeling of great self-achievement that no one helped you gain but your determination and that is bliss.

5. You gain a new insight into the world

Traveling in general opens people’s mind, but its really when you get to spend the time in new places and meet new people alone that you mind opens. You have time to explore new ideas and understand these new findings. You will find yourself questioning views that you had on the world, and be so happy that maybe they have changed for the better.

6. You will learn how to budget and stick to it

Budgeting can be a learn curve for anyone, but when you travel alone, there is no pressure to spend your money in a way that you may not want. Perhaps your friend wants to do an activity your not to fussed about, but when traveling with them you feel the need too. There is some about saving all your money into a bank account, and discovering how you like to spend it. No one is there telling you to live a certain way and in turn you can do whatever you want. Traveling alone not alone helps you not only to budget while overseas but also while at home, saving for something.

7. You will to appreciate what you have back home

Being alone away from your normal friends, family and life really makes you value what you have back home. Sometimes you need to step out of your world to see, that what you have this truly is awesome. That your good friends will support you whatever you choose to do in life. You may see that people don’t live as well as you, for many of us having food, a house, and safety is something we overlook all the time. Also being away from things this really teach you how to value the time you have with them or the things you have.

8. You will learn to live in the moment fully

Seeing things that take your breath away everyday and from all the goodbye’s for the awesome people you meet makes you really live life. You learn that life is short and that you must grasps everything that comes your way. Whether its enjoying a meal, or taking the time to listen people properly. Everything that comes your way you will embrace and ensure that you are happy with everything in your life.

9. You will gain a endless lists of life skills

From all your experiences you will come back with a skill set you never had before. Whether is being able to ask a stranger any question you want, from improving your cooking, to being able to accept everything that the world throws at you. There is too many things to list, but every solo travel comes back with skills they didn’t have before. Mine personally is my ability to speak more then three languages fluently.

10. You will fall in love

Travel romance is also bound to happen when you travel alone, and although that love may only last a few days, weeks or months you will discover a different kind of love. Meeting someone traveling, takes you away from all the social norms of when you fall in love at home. Maybe after only knowing someone for a fews days, they change your world. And even its ends, you will be happy that you got you spend your time with an amazing person. As it’s said “its better to be loved, then have no love at all. “

11. Even when your traveling alone, your never really alone.

From all the movement, that you do and all the people that you will meet, you never really are alone. There will always be someone to hang with, to do things with. Some much in fact sometimes it can be to much, and may need to seek out doing somethings alone. You will meet people that you will visit at later dates, from after all the world is a small place.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Can you see me ?

Can you see me ?
Can you see this not a game.
That all my flaws is what took you 
away
and know I still think of you everyday
I hope that there is still days when you
remember more then just the pain
Is there anyway my love 
Can fill the hole of this crazy pain
For even thought I didn’t shown it
your the one my heart sings for
maybe you dont believe it was ever real
but now long after I pray you still feel something
because even after all, my mind desires no else but you
Can we love each other honest, loyal?
All I know that going to try and fix this
because I will never forget you
or the magic we felt

Lens

A lens needs many elements in order to work
They give a view and focus in a way
which only the beholder can see
some give a broad view
others just put things into a different perspective
some are narrow and part of the picture is left out
but a lens can always be changed
there is one to fit every picture and every moment
never do I want to see the world from a narrow or
unfocused lens
for my lens is always opening and closing
seeing things in a variety of ways
focus yourself to see the world from a wide range of lens
for what is life we cant see all the frame
and cant focus on the bigger picture
the way one sees the world
is the most important of them all
open and change your lens
find the one that fits you
but don’t forget sometimes its good
to change your adjust your frame of reference

Isla Holbox-A quick guide.


If you ever get the chance visit the amazing country of Mexico, please do yourself a favor and visit the fascinating Island of Isla Holbox. The sandy white beach, radiant sunsets, friendly locals and a endless amount of natural beauty is not a place one can easily forget or even leave.

Most people, are even lucky to hear about this wonderful place. It was recommend to me by a friend while I was living in Playa Del Carmen and forever thankful will I be. There is around 1000 people that live on the Island, if you want a place to relax and chill look no further.

Location and Getting there

Isla Holbox meaning black hole in mayan is located 3 hours from Cancun via bus and ferry
on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.
There are a few different ways to get to the Island, however the cheapest and most popular way is via ADO bus. Take the bus from the Cancun downtown station to Chilquila, then a ferry to the island. 
There is a daily direct bus for Chiquilá (between 3 and 3,5 hours), the closest mainland town by ferry. The bus leaves Cancun at 7:45am, 10:30am, 12:45 pm and another one at 13:45 pm. After that you can get a ferry to the Island/

Where to stay
There are a number of cute places to stay however I recommend

Tribu Hostel
This the of the only hostel on the Island, but its like no other. This place is great, with a bar open every day but Monday, even locals go here. Check the website below for more info.

http://tribuhostel.com/

Casa Las Tortugas
If you have a bit more money to spend, this also a great hotel on the beach front with a great restaurant.
http://www.holboxcasalastortugas.com/


Things to do

Whale Shark Tour
The main reason tourist come to this island is for the whale sharks from Feb to September every year, this is one of the best places in the world to go swimming with these magical creatures. A five hour tour will cost you around $100 dollars, with breakfast and lunch included. There a number of different companies on the Island just ask around for the best price.

Swim with plankton glowing the the dark

When the moon is hidden, at night almost every night you can swim with plankton that glows in the dark when you swim. See fish light up as they swim in the water and get back to nature. Dance around and watch in amazement as the water glows as you move.

Hire a golf cart and explore
There are no cars on Isla Holbox, instead people walk everywhere or you can hire a golf cart and explore different parts of the Island. Again there a number of places to hire from. Ask around the centre square if your interested.

Watch shooting stars
Every night throughout the year you can see sometimes hundreds of shooting stars and also the milky way. Grab a towel and lye on the beach around a bonfire.

Bird watching
Isla Holbox is home to hundreds of different birds from Mexico, and my favourite is the flamingos. Its not uncommon to see them flying while the sunset. Walk east down the beach to find hundreds of them in the water.

Isla Holbox is amazing for wildlife, there are also a number of great restaurants to eat at, just walk around the centre square to find what your after.

This island is so magical, after having lived here for around 4 months, its safe to say that Holbox is by far one of my favourite places in the world. There is not alot of information on this Island, so if you want advice feel free to ask.

Cheers B

11892317_10153595592039669_4100500610829719556_o

11838601_10153595591794669_8546319188047676164_o

11895252_10153595591209669_6940679675067590110_o

11834739_10153595594034669_5873158181083198599_o

11884737_10153595594654669_1791487511274053256_o