Joanna Becker writes books for children to improve their health and understanding of life, but unlike a lot of kids’ books where the parent can understand the moral of the story, and the main message sort of goes over the kids' heads, Joanna makes it easy for kids with Q and A’s, bright illustrations and interaction. One is called Dusty’s Wonder Bug, and another is Max’s Bright Fly.
How to make Quasi-Vegetarian Okonomiyaki when you’re not Japanese and you are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free💥
As you may remember from my blogs and stories, about 9 years ago I met Kate and Anthony Golle, the executive producers of the now famous Overfed and Undernourished documentary, and the author of Raising Healthy Families, and we went on to become friends and colleagues supporting people reaching their health goals in the Tribal Wellness Movement online wellness program. I stay in touch with Kate and Anthony and love their consistency in supplying inspiration and empowering information for living healthier lives in these challenging times.
This Okonomiyaki idea was prompted by my friendKate’s own vegetarian fail-proof recipe which she loves to cook again and again… and then I twisted it up a little by adding egg-replacer and hummus (so, no eggs), and mixed in pre-baked wild caught whiting.
You could call it Quasi-Vegetarian Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) or plant-based fish cake, or even Fish pie because …. 🥁…. I rolled the mixture into large balls then pressed into the Pie Maker to shape like pies.
1/2 green cabbage finely shredded
250g enoki mushroom finely shredded
1/2 large yellow zucchini
2 carrots grated
2-3 heads of spring onions diced finely
1 fresh cob of corn
1/2 cup rice flour or gluten free flour
Egg substitute equivalent to 1 egg
2 tablespoons of hummus
1 pack of frozen wild caught Whiting
4 stalks of spring onion for the topping
2-4 nori sheets, cut finely, or nori flakes for the topping
Vegan mayonnaise for the topping
Tamari or additive-free soy sauce for the topping
METHOD 1. Preheat your oven, or plug in your air fryer. Brush a baking pan with coconut oil and arrange the fillets. Bake the defrosted whiting fillets until soft and falling apart.
2. Finely shred the cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini, onion, spring onions with a good kitchen knife on a large chopping board. Add to a large mixing bowl as you go. (Alternatively, use a food processor to shred the vegetables in smaller portions.)
3. Remove the fish from the oven, and transfer to a plate, to cool in the fridge while you continue with the vegetables.
4. Heat the Pie Maker (an electrical appliance that heats in 5 minutes)
5. Slice down the sides of the corn cobs with sturdy steak knives to remove the corn kernels. Add the corn to the mixing bowl. Stir all of the grated vegetables and a pinch of salt with a wooden spoon until combined really well. If it is overflowing, you can separate out part of the mixture into another bowl and store it in the fridge to use in another recipe tomorrow. It is best to have a bowl with room to move so you can add the next ingredients and continue stirring.
6. Now add the egg replacer, hummus, rice or GF flour, and 1.5 cups water. Stir to create ideal consistency for rolling by hand. Add further water gradually going by feel.
7. Then add your fish fillets breaking them apart gently with your hands, and again mix well.
8. Using your hands, collect a handful of the mixture and squeeze and press into large balls, filling your cupped hands. Squeeze the juices out into the bowl until the ball holds together on its own. Repeat x 4. Transfer these balls to the Pie Maker and close the lid.
9. While the first 4 Okonomiyaki pies are cooking, continue rolling the balls, transferring each ball to a growing pile on a plate. Once you have finished, you will have a bowl full of vegetable and fish stock… an amazing meal base (coconut fish laksa, anyone?) for tomorrow’s cooking adventures. Transfer the stock into a glass bowl with lid and transfer into the refrigerator, or freezer for a later date.
10. When the first 4 Okonomiyaki pies are cooked through until golden brown on the top (up to 7 or so minutes), safely lift them out with a spoon and transfer to an oven pan (or air fryer pan), to keep warm in the oven (or air fryer) while the remaining balls are cooked. To speed up the cooking process you could also divide up the balls between the air-fryer, oven and Pie Maker… depending on how many people you are cooking for and how much time you have available.
11. Serve on individual plates with shredded lettuce if desired, with a drizzle of vegan mayonnaise, Tamari or your additive-free soy sauce, and nori sushi seaweed sheets cut into strips with the scissors over the plates. I added diced tomato, and spring onion is a delicious addition Kate recommends to be more traditional, too.
Why is Okonimayaki easy to make in the Pie Maker?
Even though we work around Mammalian Meat Allergy and maintain a healthy plant-based diet for our whole family, I am going to make good use of our pie maker. We were also gifted with a matching Pie Maker cookbook (like this one) on Christmas Day and I was so happy to open the pages and find recipes for all kinds of meals not even slightly related to traditional pies. Included in the pages were many egg-based recipes, which I can try using my egg-free substitutes (such as hummus & egg replacer), and also vegetable tarts, mushroom and carrot curry casseroles, crumbed vegetable patties, fish cakes, vegetarian rissoles, savoury gluten-free muffins, and the list goes on.
NB.1: I have adopted a practice of glueing closed the pages that feature recipes and photos of meat meals (beef, pork and lamb) so I don’t have to flick through pages, and be reminded, of meals that won’t ever be cooked in this kitchen and we can focus on our Quasi-Vegetarian Lifestyle instead without distraction. It’s been a good more for mental health.
I hope this feedback is heartening and encouraging you to try this appliance too, as I’ve found it to be very quick to cook and even re-heat meals on the counter.
NB.2. I stopped using a microwave 10 years ago because of EMF research and I haven’t missed it a moment, and so I think it’s great that the Pie Maker will make it even easier for people to achieve cooking and re-heating with fewer EMF’s in their kitchen. No doubt more research will come out on kitchen appliance EMF’s, including the pie maker in future, which will be worth keeping an eye out for.
NB.3. What is a Quasi-Vegetarian diet? A Quasi-Vegetarian diet is a plants-based diet, most simply explained as vegetarian but also including fish and seafood. What this means is that a Quasi-Vegetarian diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes and berries, and can contain some dairy such as non-animal rennet cheese, milk and pure butter, and also fish and seafood, but strictly no red meat products such as beef, gelatin, red-meat-product fermentations, lamb, pork or deli smallgoods. It is generally the most suitable and safest diet choice for people diagnosed with mammalian meat allergy (alpha-gal allergy) following a tick bite, whereby it becomes unsafe to consume all products made with, fermented with, or cross-contaminated with, foods of animal origin including cows, sheep, lamb, pig, kangaroo, rabbit, possum, whale, dolphin. Many people with MMA allergy find that poultry is safe to consume so long as cross-contamination has not occurred, and some people with alpha-gal can also consume dairy, but overall it seems healthier and helpful to adopt a plants-based diet with a strong lean towards vegan-inspired recipes and whole food plant ingredients.
You can find more recipes like the one above, that suit Quasi-Vegetarian diets as well as vegan, vegetarian and plants-based diet, in the Tribal Wellness Movement Starter Guide Recipe Book, authored by Kate and Anthony Golle. I have a number of these printed copies available and am happy to post them to you free of charge (limited stock available.)
Until then, enjoy cooking and I hope you enjoy this plants-based, quasi-vegetarian Okonomiyaki recipe! Please leave your comments and share your experiences below.
Join me, Joanna Becker, at the Brindabella Homestead on what has been a very rainy Christmas.
It’s summer, and this summer, it’s raining. It’s been raining for 2 weeks almost, everything is green again, the water is flowing, the plants are all growing, and I don’t even need to wash my own herbs or vegetables because everything has had a bath in the most beautiful rainwater.
And the kids love exploring with grass that is soaking wet. Wetting their feet, dirt between the toes, so many caterpillars, butterflies everywhere, frogs everywhere on the leaves, it is such a beautiful thing to experience.
It is so nice to come outside; we have spent a lot of time inside cooking, crafting, putting up the Christmas decorations, and a lot of time cleaning, too.
I love to indulge in a decadent organic Rosehip and Hibiscus Herbal Tea with honey, packed with vitamin C which is everything we are told to have when building strength and immunity and preventing allergies.
And to keep my iron in the normal range, I take a daily dose of Floradix or Floravital, which I noticed includes 135.0mg of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Red Sorrel) flower, a Hibiscus flower which is said to be rich in vitamin C to help in the absorption of iron.
And so my question became: can I drink HOME-GROWN hibiscus tea? I’m keen to find out if the varieties of hibiscus flower growing at the Brindabella Homestead are safe and tasty to drink.
In my way of thinking, making Hibiscus tea at home for fun should be as simple as plucking the flowers, gently removing the stamen, separating the petals, dehydrating, then adding to a saucepan of gently simmering water. I watched a few YouTube videos, read a few articles, decided that I was on the right path, and started testing for myself.
I got started making my own Hibiscus Tea at home by picking flowers from my garden, which matched the variety that are said to be a delicacy in Mexico in salads and a Youtube video of a woman making and drinking tea with exactly the same plant.
I was encouraged by my researching the kitchen to confirm that yes, hibiscus often appears in ingredient labels on food products. When I buy tea (or any other plant-based food), I have a good read of the ingredients each and every time – do you? Doing this imprints on my mind the plants that are edible and beneficial for immunity (or whatever else is marked on the packet). Hibiscus is often mentioned on raspberry style tea blends or other immunity-boosting tonics, drinks, vitamin blends, kombucha, and so on. So there I had it… a clue to go looking online to find out which species were edible and safe to eat, before rummaging in my garden to see if I had the safe and edible varieties to dehydrate and produce my own hom-made organic Hibiscus tea blend.
If you’re going to have a go at this, I recommend that you make sure to do your research on trusted websites, YouTube channels or books (I have a book shelf dedicated to edible plants and food based medicines, a handy resource in the kitchen) and understand safe doses – and only eat what you already know is good and safe for you from previous taste-testings or trusted lessons with a Food Scientist (which, by the way, I’m not).
After a day of fun in the kitchen, I decided these dehydrated hibiscus and dandelion flowers could make beautiful tea blends for months. They passed my preliminary small taste test, they felt beautiful to touch and handle while I warmed them in water and poured out tea, and were sweet and nurturing on the taste-buds. Little dehydrated hibiscus chips might also end up on my menu for the quasi-vegetarian homestead.
My husband, 3 children and I live on a 25-acre homestead, on the coastal strip of regional mid-north coast NSW, called Brindabella. It’s here that we run our home business, homeschool our children, take care of our pet Speckled Park cows, Arabian horses, ducks, chickens, cats, and dogs and learn how to grow plants for eating to complement the local supply of fresh, organic vegetables, herbs and fruits we are blessed to have delivered to our doorstep from local farming cooperatives.
After learning to live with mammalian meat allergy (MMA), it became ever so much more important for us to adopt what’s often called a “Quasi-Vegetarian” diet as well as ensure we had our own food ready to pull from the ground and add to the plate.
The MMA Nutrition Community is a way for you to find friendship and solace in a private network of other likeminded people who have had their life suddenly change following tick bite or diagnosis of Mammalian Meat Allergy (which is an alpha-gal carbohydrate allergy) from paralysis tick bite.
The Community dedicated to healing and living bravely with mammalian meat (alpha-gal) allergy onset after tick bite
Thank you for joining us. My goal here is to create a community of friends, and encouragement to prioritise our health so we can live a beautiful, empowered lifestyle all the while enjoying tasty, satisfying and nutritious recipes that suit our special dietary needs.
Of course, if you have not experienced any negative side effects of tick-bite and are simply looking for a renewal lease on life with plant-based recipes and vegan style nutrition, for any of the valid personal or altruistic reasons to have a plants-based diet, you are also welcome!
What does the community include?
Plant based ingredient recommendations and meals specific for wellness and recovery and especially beneficial after tick-bite and diagnosis of MMA
Private MMA Nutrition Community Group for connection and conversation on Facebook
This community is 100% free for you to be apart of. Sign up for the email list to receive a free menu planner and a short list of my favorite kitchen tools for a predominately plant-based menu suitable for all the family.
If you are new to suffering ill-effects from MMA (Mammalian Meat Allergy also known as alpha-gal), please take hope from my words and the opportunity to you listed above. I earnestly believe it is possible to turn a corner to gain a new quality of life. What once felt like an impossible situation for me, living meal to meal in fear for several years, became an opportunity to give myself the kind of nurturing I had never received in my entire life, full of rich opportunities to learn and connect with people and ideas I may never have considered prior-tick-bite. And incredibly, now, I would not choose to take away what happened to me (“for me”) as it has helped to create a life I am very grateful for, that fills me full of hope that our outdoor environment is beautiful and designed specifically to help and serve us in both the short and long term.
You are welcome to reply email me anytime with questions you have to help you on your particular journey back to normal life, and even beyond into an improved, empowered lifestyle you can be grateful for. To do so, sign up to my EMAIL LIST and when you receive the welcome email, simply reply and say hello.
LAST MINUTE peeps! Winner drawn today – enter right now 🙋🏼♀️
I have joined forces with the lovely Kelly Quilter, author of Teacher For A Day, who is bringing you this amazing giveaway!
All subscribers will get access to a FREE copy of my all-new Dusty’s Wonder Bug Activity ePack + a FREE copy of the activity ebook based on this month’s chosen book at Teacher For A Day – “Seriously Do Not Open This Book” by Andy Lee.
Dusty’s Wonder Bug is a magical children’s book by Joanna Becker, available to buy here. Now after much demand, the official Activity Pack to accompany the book is here!
This Activity Pack includes 22 colourful (A4 size) pages for parents, educators and children to work through together.
SUBJECT AREAS: LITERACY, SCIENCE, HEALTH, NUMERACY & CREATIVE ARTS
All activities can be adjusted for different ages and abilities with more teacher direction – eg. more discussion and teacher writing responses for younger students, to more independent work for independent children.
Activities include learning how to compost and make healthy food, design characters and covers for children’s books, identify food groups, tally and graph findings mathematically, draw and get arty, and discuss concepts for literacy development, and much more.
Activities are fun and engaging for children from 4 years old to approximately 9 years old.
Available to buy exclusively from the author on Fishpond.
Dusty’s Wonder Bug is featured in Kelly Quilter’s Teacher For A Day. As an Australian Teacher and author, Kelly Quilter loves to take Dusty’s Wonder Bug into the classroom. Grab a copy of her book full of Relief Teacher techniques, for all her awesome activities including Dusty’s Wonder Bug classroom activities … and you too can have an easy, fun day with children in any education setting. Visit the Official Teacher For A Day website to learn more about this amazing resource.
So these books are available on FISHPOND now 🙂 link to buy via my website (www.joannabecker.com.au) or search JOANNA BECKER in the BOOKS – CHILDREN’S BOOKS category on Fishpond. (Or contact me for the $60 special mentioned above, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whew! I’m wrapping last-minute orders of Dusty’s Wonder Bug! Our 3rd baby is due in 7 days so now is a great time to get in your order and I’ll post it to you tomorrow.
PLUS in just 2 DAYS you can order online the matching Dusty’s Wonder Bug Activity Pack! It will be delivered to your letterbox – 24 colourful pages of activities, literacy and fun for children 3-8 years, all about the magic of real food and self-sufficiency. If you’re interested in this one please say “ADD ME TO WAIT LIST!” or similar in the comments below and I’ll get in touch with the link to purchase.
Link here to browse & buy Dusty’s Wonder Bug 40 page children’s book including musical CD … and … wish me luck!
Exciting times for the series of books I’m working on that is quickly growing into self-help books for children – Dusty’s Wonder Bug is already in hard copy and can be bought straight from this website, but now we also have Max’s Bright Fly available in print.
Balboa Press has finished Max’s Bright Fly!
I love self-publishing. I love the flexibility, the cost-effectiveness, the power it gives me to work on my own schedule and be the manager. But there came a time early this year when I decided I wanted to see my books on the Hay house website and be listed alongside Doreen Virtue, Wayne Dyer and the wonderful Louise Hay. And so Balboa Press became an awesome avenue for me to get my books re-published and seen in the US market. Now, Max’s Bright Fly is on the shelves!
You can order directly from Balboa Press,Barnes & Noble bookstore and many other favourite websites, like Fishpond, and about 15 more websites – just search your favourite online bookstore and you should find it. I’ll let you know when we’re live on the Hay House website! And I’ll post links to all the websites you can buy your hard copy very soon.
You can also search Google Books and preview all the pages and download for your e-book reader – along with Barnes & Noble, Balboa, and Amazon, this means the ebook version is available across several platforms.
Dusty’s Wonder Bug Home Education Pack
As a homeschooling mum I love the flexibility I have to create my own resources as well as rely on my favourite products. So it’s been exciting this month to turn the key and start on an Education Pack to go with Dusty’s Wonder Bug – including lots of fun literacy, science, cooking and self-love activities and ultimately, good times for readers!
Birth Story Collection is being re-published
Other exciting news this month is that we are working together to update the birth stories in the collection, 33 Ways To Have A Fun Birth, and this will involve a name change to broaden the audience and lighten the message. This book is about giving birth – but previously reached out to mostly pregnant women preparing for child-birth. And I had some wonderful feedback, so heartening to hear that this – a book I’vecreated – has made such a difference to pregnant women.
As a pregnant woman again now, I can safely say that there is an abundance of informative content out there for mummas-to-be! Bringing me to a decision to widen the scope of this book to include all mums, not just pregnant mums.
And so the book focus is going to be about WRITING about your birth experience post-birth, REFLECTING on what it meant for you, and LEARNING the power of writing in improving your lifestyle and experience as a parent. Also many great tips and how-to-worksheets for changing your sense of ease and grace in your life, and of course, how-to-meditate and enjoy peace and calm in every day parenting life.
You can now buy my new book, Max’s Bright Fly with me. I’ve ordered the VERY FIRST 🥇 copy for Max, for his 5th birthday 🎁. Don’t tell him 🤣
If you believe in the Law of Attraction, and want to help your children understand how it works, this book is definitely for you! If you don’t know anything about the Law Of Attraction, then this book is definitely for you too… learn along with your kids as you turn the pages 📗 I’m really happy I have shared this special message in a colourful children’s book. This book is all about having a great experience in life – living it to the fullest 🙌
You can read all about it by visiting the shop tab here on this page, or on http://www.joannabecker.com.au, you will be able to add it straight into your shopping basket, or link through to the Ebook version on Amazon (if iPad is your thing).
Not only does this book feature a brightly illustrated characters and farm setting, but with its messages of finding love in your heart, spreading kindness, and making wishes for your own life and watching your own magic unfold – the law of attraction for kids in an easy, readable, and enjoyable format – this book is sure to take pride of place in your bookshelf and be a favourite to read at bedtime.
Also great for preschools, childcare and playgroups. This is a large-format brightly illustrated children’s picture book, written in rhyme, with plenty of opportunity to engage children and start conversations about their own experiences in life.
More images coming once I have the hardcopy in my hands. Can’t wait!