metropol » vegan

Tag: vegan

Perfect panforte recipe

I always don a clean pair of dishwashing gloves to mix this dense festive Italian fruit cake, as it’s very heavy to mix with a spoon and you need to work fast so the toffee mixture doesn’t set before it’s mixed through the fruit and nuts. The recipe scales up easily and you can play around with different types of fruit and nuts as long as you keep the ratios consistent.

Ready: 1 1/4 hours | Serves: 2 | Vegan


1 cup skin-on almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
21⁄2 cups dried fruit, such as mixed peel, raisins, chopped dried figs,
dried cranberries or dried cherries
2⁄3 cup plain flour or gluten-free flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 cup honey
1⁄2 cup sugar
60g (2 1⁄4 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
Icing sugar, to dust


Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) fanbake. Thoroughly grease a 20cm (8in) diameter springform cake tin or line it with baking paper. Line a shallow roasting dish with baking paper for easy clean-up. Spread almonds and hazelnuts out at either end of prepared roasting dish and roast until nuts are fragrant and skins are splitting on hazelnuts (12 to 15 minutes). Cool. Place hazlenuts in a clean tea towel and rub between your hands to remove most of the loose skins (don’t worry if they don’t all come off). Transfer nuts to a large bowl, add dried fruit, flour, cocoa and cinnamon, and stir to combine.

Boil honey and sugar in a pot until mixture reaches ‘soft ball’ stage. You’ll know it’s ready when it reaches 112 to 116°C (234 to 241°F) on a candy thermometer, or when a small drop of mixture dropped into a glass of cold water forms a soft ball when rolled between your fingers.

Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and, working quickly, mix with gloved hands or a very strong wooden spoon until combined. Press evenly into prepared cake tin and bake until set (about 35 minutes). Remove from tin while still warm. When cool, dust liberally with icing sugar.


Extracted from Bella: My life in food by Annabel Langbein. Food photography by William Meppem. RRP$49.99. Published by Allen & Unwin NZ.



Perfect Platters: Four Square Hanmer Springs

The team at Four Square Hanmer Springs has a passion for creating beautiful, bespoke grazing platters.



They are available for everything from large corporate events and weddings, right through to delicious platters for two and children’s birthday parties.

Renowned for being generous, the platters contain a variety of seasonal ingredients, beautiful specialty cheeses and cured meats, along with fresh fruits, beautiful chutneys, hummus and pâté. Vegetarian and vegan platters are available, as are hot grazing options.

They look as good as they taste!

Contact the team today on 03 315 7190 to discuss how they can assist you for your special occasion, family moment away, birthday party or easy evening in.

Find Four Square Hanmer Springs at 12 Conical Hill Road. For more photos visit the Facebook page.


Never Fail Gluten-Free Vegan Vanilla Cake

This three-layered six-inch cake is sure to wow the most hard-to-impress guests!


By Sara Kidd


Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 27 mins

1 ½ cup white rice flour
3/4 cup almond meal (almond flour is even better)
1/2 cup potato starch
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 ½ cup soy milk
1 ½ tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Egg Replacer
3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
7 ½ tbsp hot water

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.

Grease and line three six-inch cake tins with vegetable oil and baking paper, and then dust the cake tin with a tiny amount of gluten-free flour to coat.

Make your flaxseed ‘egg’ by mixing flaxseed and water together and set aside to thicken.

In a large mixing bowl sieve flours, starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together and give it a quick whisk to combine ingredients.

In a large jug, mix vinegar with soy milk until it becomes thick. Then add oil and vanilla and mix together. Add thickened flax ‘egg’ and stir.

Pour liquid into flour bowl and gently fold ingredients together with a whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into each cake tin making sure they both have the same amount of batter and tap on the bench to release air bubbles.

Place tins into the middle of your oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out almost clean.

Allow to sit in the cake tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.

Run a knife around the outside of the cake before flipping it onto your cooling rack.

Let it completely cool down and ice with your favourite vegan buttercream.

Putting the spice into innovation

If you’ve made your way over to the Lyttelton Farmers’ Markets on a Saturday morning and noticed the ‘Bambina’, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at your usual meaty sausage lying on a beautiful fresh bread roll.



It’s not even clear upon tasting that this is, in fact, an innovative plant-based creation.

Lightly spiced with fennel seeds and paprika, and with a chewy texture that gets crispy when it’s shallow-fried, the Bambina looks and cooks much like a meat sausage, but is in fact, completely meat-free.

This impressive display of local food innovation has sizzled its way to the top of the 2019 FoodStarter competition where plant-based and vegan options dominated the entries.

Growing up in Argentina meant there was a strong connection between food and socialising for Ananda Simply Wholefoods founders Fernando Gutierrez and Marita Lopez. “Growing up in Argentina, barbecues were always an excuse to get together and socialise; that’s in our genes,” Fernando says.

“Every chance to cook or share food with friends and family was a good one.”

So when the couple went vegan 12 years ago, it meant getting creative with their meat alternatives.

When they arrived in the land of the long white cloud, they found just one vegan sausage available on the market.

“When we first arrived in New Zealand from Argentina seven years ago, we realised there was a gap in the market for a good, high protein, plant-based product,” Fernando says.

The couple began producing the Bambina sausages, along with vegan and gluten-free patties – a smoked lentil patty and a chickpea patty – and their classic Argentinian Chimichurri dressing, also vegan and gluten-free.



“We started at the Opawa Famers’ Markets, then the Riccarton Bush markets, now we’re at the Lyttelton Markets. From there we were able to build up regular customers and then moved into shops and restaurants,” says Fernando, who worked as a full-time landscaper until three months ago, before moving to part-time hours so he could concentrate on making sausages. “But now we have a lot more to do!”

They certainly do, with the FoodStarter win coming in when Marita was 37 weeks pregnant with their second child.

The Bambina sausage was one of 121 entries to the FoodStarter competition, a partnership between Foodstuffs South Island and the Ministry of Awesome (MoA), based at the Te Ōhaka Centre for Growth and Innovation, at Ara Institute.

More than 90 percent of entries had a health, environment and dietary awareness focus, with four of the top five products being vegan.

“The entries showed just how impactful the current trend for plant-based and vegan is,” Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer Marian Johnson says.

“We’re in the early adopter phase at the moment, but we are seeing a lot of startups in that area.”

She often buys vegetarian sausages, but says the Bambina was a particular stand-out.



“This was amazing – it actually tasted like a lovely spicy pork sausage,” she says.

“It held together really well and had the kind of texture you’d expect from a good sausage.

It was an incredibly tough competition, and we saw an outstanding display of innovation, invention and passion from all five of our finalists.”

It was a sentiment expressed by all the judges.

Foodstuffs South Island CEO Steve Anderson says all the top five entries showed stunning innovation, but Ananda Simply Wholefoods’ vegan Bambina sausage was exceptional.

“You can’t tell it’s plant-based – we thought there must be some kind of meat in there, but there’s definitely not. The balance of flavours and textures make it a truly worthy winner.”

The $75,000 business incubation prize package includes product development from FoodSouth, brand and design guidance from Strategy Advertising, business startup incubation at Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth & Innovation, guidance from MYOB staff and guaranteed placement of the winning product in all New World supermarkets across the South Island – a prize Fernando and Marita describe as “life-changing”.


Science for Skin


Given the chance to rummage through the bathroom cabinets of international celebrities like Sam Smith, Cara Delevingne, Georgia May Jagger and Elle Macpherson , you’ll spot the green labels of Antipodes.



Despite the fact that this green beauty brand is now sold in more than 20 countries and continues to win multiple beauty and health industry awards for performance, the Antipodes story began right here in Canterbury where she grew up.

Armed with a University of Canterbury science degree she wasn’t sure what to do with, Elizabeth headed off to New York, before taking on a gig teaching Australasian surgeons how to use ground-breaking laparoscopic equipment. But it was the difficulty finding a natural product range that would work for her own dry and sensitive skin that resulted in the launch of Antipodes in Elizabeth’s kitchen.

Metropol catches up with Antipodes company director and founder Elizabeth Barbalich about the science of skincare.

What attracted you to the beauty products industry?
I saw a need in the market for a cool, avant garde, niche brand that elevated natural skincare to the next level. In my invitation to women to make a positive health choice by converting to natural skincare from their conventional brand, I wanted to offer them the familiarity of similar textures and levels of hydration.

I found the natural brands available at the time didn’t do enough to maximise hydration for my own dry skin. The natural brands that I’d experienced simply weren’t hydrating enough. So I invested a lot of time and care in replicating a velvety texture.

But I also wanted to offer them the courage of my convictions. I knew scientific proof of performance would be key in a market starting to fill with natural skincare. How could we stand out from the crowd with so much ‘greenwashed’ marketing?

I wanted consumers to be able to see past the hype to the black and white results of our independent, third-party scientific investigations – so they could rely on a scientist’s findings and really trust that Antipodes can work to improve your skin’s appearance.

The key to the brand’s success is our devotees around the world. Any number of people might try a brand after being attracted to something that may appeal like its packaging. But you will only buy a brand again and stay loyal to it if you find that it’s skincare that performs for you. The anecdotal support and testimonials we receive every day, as well as the huge results we get on our scientific and clinical testing, spurs us on.

How big is the company now?
We have just over 40 staff, but we are constantly expanding so that number will rise. Some staff are based in our key markets – Australia and the United Kingdom – and we’ll soon be bringing on board a business development specialist in Japan.

The company was the forerunner of the vegan beauty boom. Why was this such an important consideration for you?
I’m vegan, so this is a cause close to my heart. I looked at trends in natural healthcare and lifestyle and I saw that vegan skincare was going to be big, so I got to work to make sure we could give consumers what they wanted – certified vegan products.

Our vegan and vegetarian products are all certified by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, the oldest and most respected vegetarian organisation in the world.

It’s great to see more people embrace the vegan lifestyle and more brands catering to them. This lifestyle is wonderful for health and wellbeing – my diet helps give me the energy to keep up with my demanding schedule.

How does your daily beauty regime look?
Always start with perfectly clean skin. Grapeseed Butter Cleanser followed by Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser gives a great double cleanse and doesn’t dry or irritate my sensitive skin. I follow that with Divine Face Oil Rosehip & Avocado Oil, then Kiwi Seed Gold Luminous Eye Cream and Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream. My look is finished with Skin-Brightening Mineral Foundation and Moisture-Boost Natural Lipstick in Dusky Sound Pink.

What should we be thinking about in terms of skincare as we head into summer?
Refresh your skin before summer begins. Reincarnation Pure Facial Polish & Exfoliator removes lifeless skin while replenishing vital nutrients. With a creamy, moisturising base of antioxidant-rich avocado and jojoba bean oils, combined with calendula and carrot seed extract, it reveals clear and revitalised facial skin.

Next, sun protection. Immortal SPF 15 Skin-Brightening Face and Body Moisturiser is a natural alternative to chemical sunscreens. It can allow you sun exposure of up to 15 times your normal burn time, utilising the natural sun care of raspberry seed oil.

Finally, pollution protection. As we’re travelling and going outside more when the weather is warmer, our exposure to harmful pollutants increases. Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum provides a daily natural barrier against pollution particles and is scientifically shown* to inhibit oxidative stress in-vitro by up to 52 percent.

Finally, restore your skin after exposure to the elements with Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream. Native New Zealand manuka honey draws moisture to your skin to help bring a truly ageless visage.

Revolutionary Vinanza Grape is a potent antioxidant extract from Marlborough sauvignon blanc grape seeds to help neutralise the effects of free radical damage that can lead to premature ageing.

It’s also scientifically shown to stimulate synthesis of collagen production in human cells by up to 92 percent**.

What do the next 12 months have in store for you?
We have some ambitious plans in place – new markets, new products and new projects. We’re working from a brand new premises in Ghuznee Street in Wellington, which means our team can gather and collaborate much more easily.

Our newly refurbished, heritage building gives us everything we need to put our big ideas into action – plenty of natural light, a skin lab for training and discovery, spaces for innovation, a living wall of plants for pure air, and a beautifully designed kitchen and bar in the basement, where the entire staff gathers to enjoy vegan lunches together.


*Trinity Bioactives: In-vitro Investigation into the Antioxidant Effects (Production of Superoxide) of Test Products at 0.10% by Activated Macrophage Cells After One-Hour Exposure. March 2018

** Trinity Bioactives: Independent Blind Study In-Vitro Scientific Investigation into the Effects of Antipodes Products on the Production of Type I Collagen in Human Skin Fibroblast Cells in Culture, Concentrations Between 0.02 and 0.200 mg/ml, 48 hours (2009)



Va Va Vegan

Va Va Vegan

Limiting or excluding meat, dairy products and eggs was once on the cusp of consumer consciousness. But now veganism is hitting the mainstream. A menu that was traditionally not universally available or appetising, today it is all that and a bag of kale chips.


Va Va Vegan


In New Zealand, more than half of Kiwis say they are eating less meat, and a quarter expect to be mostly meat-free by 2025, according to the results of a recent survey by Bean Supreme.

Meanwhile to research from Stanford University in the United States suggests a produce-driven diet directly helps the health of the planet in more ways than one: growing produce generates fewer carbon emissions and uses less water than raising livestock, resulting in less of an environmental toll.


If you’re getting a serious case of culinary FOMO, we have collated a creative collection of our all-time vegan favourites:

Vegan Mac n Cheese

Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles

Creamy (vegan!) Butternut Squash Linguine with Fried Sage

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Vegetable Paella

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chilli with Avocado



Natural cosmetics

The good stuff: seeking out cosmetics that are good for the body and soul

Natural, preservative-free and organic are the buzz words of the culinary world, as we increasingly seek foods which are equally as good for our bodies as they are for our planet. Yet it’s not just our food which is getting the natural makeover, as we seek safer and simpler products to fill up our bathrooms.

Natural cosmetics

Clean, green and organic are just some of the terms that have crossed the culinary divide and made their way into mainstream makeups with, even more surprisingly, vegan and gluten-free also making an increasing appearance on cosmetic packaging, alongside fragrance-free and paraben-free.
Thankfully, New Zealand and Australia are proud homes to some pretty powerful players in the natural beauty space, including Plantae and Ethique.
And it’s not just the ingredients list that these top talents are taking more responsibility over, with brands such as the Goodness range of skincare products and Christchurch’s own Lauren & Louise makeups choosing to source and supply only cruelty-free products.
Germany was first to this consumer consciousness party, banning animal testing in 1986 and, by 2009, the entire European Union had joined in. Since then, Israel, India, Norway, New Zealand, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan and parts of Brazil have all banned cosmetic testing on animals. We’ve roped Australia in too, with the country now committed to banning all cosmetic animal testing by July 2018.