Permaculture in Action

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vegan WWOOFers

Many of you, who have been following along on our little journey here will know that we are WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) Hosts. We attract a vast range of travellers coming to Purple Pear Farm for various reason. Some, are overseas backpackers looking for cheap accommodation and to experience life in a normal Australian home (not that I would say that we are typical of most Aussies) and some come to learn a little more about organic farming or permaculture or Biodynamics.Whatever the reason we provide a place to stay as well as good wholesome mainly organic/ biodynamic food in return for a reasonable days work.
To be able to do this, we must be able to source most of the ingredients for our meals from the garden.  The items that we do buy in, are grains, legumes and some dried fruit. These we buy in bulk which is so much more economical. As vegetarians we depend a lot on milk from our dairy cows for cheese and yoghurt, and eggs from our hens, as the our main protein source.

Tomorrow we have two WWOOFers arriving that are vegan, which means that they will not eat dairy, eggs or honey. I have compiled a list of main meals that we often eat that could be classed vegan;

                                        Fried Tempeh and steamed or roast vegies
                                        Fried Rice
                                        Chickpea curry and rice
                                        Stir fry with tofu and noodles
                                        Lentil Bake
                                        Stew with dumplings

But our lunches usually consist of home made bread with cheese as the main ingredients. Added to this is salads, chickpea patties and the like. The cheese and patties are not vegan friendly. Trying to keep lunches simple but nutritious is the challenge as we are not entertaining these people, they are here to work. At the same time Mark and I are working so lunches must be easy. I can't spend my mornings getting lunch ready. I have thought of soup, baked beans, hommus and bread. 

Morning teas are also a bit of a problem as most of our baking has eggs. We have explained to the WWOOFers that they will have to fit in with what we eat and that we can not afford to buy any speciality foods and how important it is for us to use what the farm provides. But having said all that it is also important to provide them with good nutritious food to the best of our ability. 

Do any of you have any suggestions for meals or snacks that would fit the bill? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


  1. I would imagine anyone with a diet as restrictive as vegan would be used to 'making do' with whatever's offered, so long as anything with non-vegan content is pointed out. Hommus sounds like a good replacement for cheese with lunch. Nuts as snacks? (Expensive.) I completely 'get' vegetarianism (although I'm not vegetarian) but vegan seems almost difficult for the sake of it, haha... am I just getting old and grumpy?

    1. I do find veganism very difficult and we did warn them that we don't do individual diets but wherever possible and it doesn't conflict with us I'll do what I can. We have suggested that they can buy some things to contribute to their diet.
      And I agree nuts are just too expensive in this situation

    2. The key--don't overcomplicate things. Veganism needn't be difficult. It sounds like you're caught up on the lunches and not so much the dinners. I've been vegan for several years and I'll happily eat fruit, nuts, salad and sandwiches for lunch. Butter the bread with hommus, fill it with the good stuff--loads of greens, tomato, cucumber; whatever you have really. Serve the sandwiches with nuts and (or just) fruit, and I am sure the guys will be more than happy. Can't they bring some stuff themselves?

      Lately I have been cooking up bit batches of felafel and bubble and squeak. Perfect, nutrient-filled sandwich filling.

      Whenever I hear somebody say something along the lines of "I completely 'get' vegetarianism (although I'm not vegetarian) but vegan seems almost difficult for the sake of it" I think they have misconceived what veganism is, and what vegans can and cannot eat. Also, I think vegetarians that rely heavily on cheese and eggs really are missing out on a lot of healthier, tasty options.

  2. It's a tricky one, this, because quick and vegan don't mix real well! My brain is a bit full right now so all I can think of would be potato salad. Prepare most of it the night before and add some beans for protein or perhaps a dollop of hommus on top.
    I have a nice easy recipe for walnut and red lentil pate - I'll try and post it tonight or tomorrow ;o)

    1. I thought of potato salad after writing the post, maybe you sent the thought to me through the ether. I hadn't thought of adding beans though so that's a good addition. Thanks. And look forward to your recipe.

    2. Vegan cooking can be as quick and easy as any other cooking. In fact, often quicker as you don't have to wait for meat to cook properly, cheese to melt, etc.

  3. Kate, I have a couple of recipes I will email you. And maybe put them on my blog if it can assist others!

    Coconut milk can be used (I always keep a few cans) instead of dairy; oat milk can be made with oats and water; golden/maple or agave syrup instead of honey, but of course you need to have those things in your pantry. I happen to keep all four (now I know why I have a large pantry, and use it all!) xxx

    1. Thanks Ree great ideas I have those items in my pantry too so they could come in handy. Look forward to the recipes. Thanks.

  4. I tried to think of things ....vegetarian sounds so much simpler but I really respect their choice. Perhaps you could ask them to buy the egg replacer you buy at organic feast...then you could make muffins etc. with soy milk.
    The other idea , and I hate to say it that alot of the prepackaged gluten free/egg free/milk free cake mixes etc are cheaper to make than buying all the ingredients.
    I imagine your visitors will have ideas for you too. What an interesting experience it will all be. They are lucky to work with a family that thinks outside the box and is happy to look at catering to their needs.

  5. have a look at this blog: they have a great archive of veg and interesting vegan recipes!
    Good luck!

  6. Hello Kate,
    An easy idea might be stir fried pumkin (sliced thinly) with a basic flavoring like coriander.
    I also love a recipe that is sweet potato mashed and mixed with fried onions and lentils, seasoned with garlic, cumin and coriander and coated in bread crumb and quickly fried to form a crust on the pattie. Recipe here:
    Also a tinned baked beans sandwich done on a toasted sandwich press is also a great emergency meal.
    Hope these ideas help. Katrina

    1. Well mum I like the sound of this! haha and that menu has some of my favourite dishes!! Check out my friends site there is lots on there if you have the time for a browse! some will not interest you as it has lots of mock meat things but some may be ok or easy to change up slightly.

      I think there is still egg replacer in your pantry?? what about the one tea spoon of lemon to one tea spoon of vanilla essence if you make picklets or muffins or something?? Savoury muffins might be nice...

      Lend them a bike to go buy some vegan bread??

      Anyway isnt vegan food fun! haha

      love sarah. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. I think i wrote my comment as somones reply...sorry mum and sorry Katrina!

  8. I have vegan friends. They don't eat mayonnaise, so watch the potato salad - I then make it with a vinaigrette dressing. If you make lots of simple cooked veg / salads with nuts, seeds, beans etc, they should be happy. A "pizza" or pastry base with garlic, tomato paste/chopped fresh tomatoes, rosemary , olives or sunflower seeds... baked then topped with avocado and or rocket, sprinkled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar if needed is delicious.

    Keep it really simple:
    Roasted veggies are always popular - tossed in pasta, on potato etc
    Soups with lentils and beans
    peanut butter on toast
    fruit for snacks
    veg cottage pie