Friday, September 27, 2013

Recipe for Non-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Today is World Vegan Baking Day! If I was at home right now, I'd be whipping something up in the kitchen. But since I am still overseas with no access to an oven, I suppose the next best thing is to share a recipe instead :)

This easy vegan pumpkin pie is a lightly spiced dessert with a slight 'cheesecake' tang for Autumn days. It was the last cake I made before leaving for China, and it was a smash with friends. Ironically, it doesn't require baking, and the texture is reminiscent of ice cream cake! The recipe is one that I have amended from this:

Tofu is a surprisingly neutral-tasting ingredient for anything with a creamy quality (like smoothies and my vegan broccoli pesto).

Flaxseed is great for its healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, egg-replacing binding powers, fibre and mild nutty taste, and easily available in organic stores.

The crust is actually a modified version of my raw energy balls :)

Hope you like it!



1/2 small to medium-sized pumpkin
1 1/3 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
1 (about 90g) tube of soft tofu
1/8 cup of coconut milk
3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil
200g coconut sugar / brown sugar (adjust quantity according to preference)
1/3 cup of water
8 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
Can't go wrong with spices!

1 1/2 cups raw mixed nuts (any combination you wish. I used walnuts, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and almonds)
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup dates, pitted
1/3 cup dry dessicated coconut
3 tablespoons of raw whole flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds and dice into cubes, removing skin. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender.

2. Puree your pumpkin! I did mine one day in advance and stored it in the fridge.

Freshly pureed pumpkin!
Pumpkin puree after refrigeration

3. If your dates are too dry, you can also soak them for several hours or overnight in water.
Soaking the cashews and dates

4. Blend flaxseed to release the oils that will aid in binding your crust.

5. Add ground flaxseed to nuts and blend together until fine.

6. Stir in the rest of the crust ingredients to the flaxseed and nut blend. It should turn into a sticky dough. If it sticks too much to your fingers, add more nuts. If it crumbles too much, add more dates.

7. Press crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of circular baking pan. Set aside.

8. Boil the sugar and water together, stirring often for 10 minutes until a syrupy texture is achieved. (In my case, I managed to make a reduction with the water I drained from the dates, and added more sugar to thicken.)
8. Drain cashews and blend into a fine paste.

9. Add pumpkin puree and the rest of the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy.

 10. Pour the filling into your baking pan.

11. Freeze overnight.

12. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

I created an icing with coconut milk and icing sugar. I tested both options of pouring a thin layer on top of the cake and leaving it to freeze together, and drizzling it over fresh. Both worked out great and it's just a matter of preference and presentation.

Served with frozen coconut milk icing

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Dancing When Everyone's Watching

I took this picture as I was walking to work last weekend in Penang, along the northeast coast. The sun was high and the sea breeze teased my hair. My music player chose Lionel Richie's 'All Night Long'. I started dancing like noone was watching. When people started watching, I realized it wasn't a big deal, and carried on dancing.
I love how one of my favourite singers, Jason Mraz, tells his fans at concerts to "Never let your mind stop you from having a good time."
May we all Party, Karamu, Fiesta, Forever.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Staying Young, Part 2

I was catching up with a friend who's visiting from London. This year, he divorced his partner of 8 years and just resigned from his corporate job to fully pursue his passion for acting. He is anxious about starting life again at 39. But a friend suggested that he try turning back the clock ten years. Now as a fresh 29-year old (with a cherubic face to match), his mindset on life has changed.

"Imagine, all the people who lived before us, who did not yet create the concept of time," my friend mused. "There was no such thing as 'running out of time'. They must have just done whatever made them happy for however long they had on earth. I've decided to live like that now. I think everyone should."

My friend leaves to Mumbai on Saturday to shoot a Bollywood film.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On Staying Young

I heard someone singing at the back of the bus this morning. I thought it was a young man with headphones on. I turned and instead saw a Chinese uncle revisiting golden oldies, no headphones. I got up and sat next to him to hear him sing. I said he had a nice voice. I found out he was 70 years old. He didn't even look 60. I told him the singing must keep him young. He laughed. "I'm in my twilight years, many of my friends are gone. I also don't have much time left. I just have to be grateful and stay happy." And then we had a chat about Engelbert Humperdinck.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

On Endurance

This is Malaysian singer-songwriter Ray Cheong. He's a killer guitarist. I've seen his career grow in the few years that I've known him. In fact, he will be opening for Tommy Emmanuel  in Malaysia next month. By coincidence I found him playing at a pub last night, passionately as always. He told me that one of the most important things we need to do, as performers, is keep on going. Even if you don't produce new material, we do all we can to stay in the game to show that we mean it; we're here to represent. They were great words to hear from a friend. 
To everyone who loves what they do, Never Dim Your Light.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Slimey Surprises

About 15 years ago, my family went to a restaurant and when the food was served, my sister noticed something squirming about on her side salad. It was a green caterpillar, happily munching away on a leaf. Dad was seething inside. He and called the waiter, pointed at the critter and calmly said, “Look at what you are serving here.” The waiter was shocked and ashamed. The manager came out to offer profuse apologies and offered compensation in the form of a cash voucher.

With the shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle, I think back and marvel at how times have changed. Had that happened to me today, I would feel complimented, a tad excited even. I would call out the manager and shake his/her hand for serving food that is fresh and organic enough to have something still thriving on it.

I found this fellow in a bag of lettuce that I bought the day before. It survived the transportation from the farm to the grocery store, a night in the grocery fridge, a night in my fridge, a rude flush of water, and the possibility of being drizzled with tahini dressing.

(I can’t affectionately refer to the slug as ‘him’ or ‘her’ because slugs are hermophradites.)

I plucked it out of my rinse bucket, thanked it for being a trooper, thanked myself for spotting it, thanked the local organic farmers that provided their great services to my community, and put it in a bush outside.

Mom was flabbergasted. I doubt she’ll ever understand how I think. But I’ll make sure that my children will if I ever become a mother myself. And that’s all that matters.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Preloved + Pawsome Sale - Launching next week!

UPDATE: The Preloved + Pawsome sale launches at 12 NOON on FRIDAY 16th AUGUST 2012. We're so excited! Get ready for it!

Hi Everyone!

I have a most exciting announcement to make:

I'm selling my clothes for charity!

Lately I had been opening my clothes cupboards - all THREE of them! - and entertained thoughts of selling stuff I don't wear anymore. I had never thought of doing fundraising with my clothes of any sort, until I came across amazing new site,, and a brilliant idea came to mind to help out Pawsome Animals.

My friends Nadzirah and Diyana run, an online platform for people to sell, swap, buy or even give away their pre-loved items in their wardrobe. The community site's popularity has been booming, with currently almost 45,000 fans on their Facebook page, and their bagging of the 'Online Shop of the Year' Award at the recent Digi WWWow Awards says it all.

My friends Nicole-Ann and Ashvina are the forces behind Pawsome Animals, a social enterprise that focuses on the rescuing, rehabilitation and re-homing of stray animals in the Klang Valley. It also strives to create the awareness of animal welfare in Malaysia through education.

I proposed my charity sale idea to FF and Pawsome. Both took an immediate interest in it, and I am blessed to be able to be able to collaborate with them on this project of love.

Some of these items are pre-loved... a few of them I acquired on my travels... some of them were bought or given and just never worn. But I hope that each of them will bring a renewed joy to fashionistas everywhere, and towards a great cause too!

The 'Preloved + Pawsome' sale will launch at in the next few days, so do look out for it!

(As all proceeds from the sale are going to charity, no cancellations, refunds or swaps/exchanges will be allowed.)

More info on Pawsome Animals can be found on their Facebook page.

In the meantime, if you have any questions with regards to my items on sale, terms and conditions, etc., feel free to email me at

On behalf of our non-human brothers and sisters, thanks a mill for your support!

Best wishes,