Sunday, October 27

What I'm eating: chocolate peanut butter cake

It's that time of year again, Jeff's birthday which will shortly be followed by my birthday. For his birthday cake this year, Jeff chose a chocolate peanut butter cake from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Joy of Vegan Baking. The recipe is for cupcakes but I just made it in a big cake tin and doubled the cooking time.

Well, the cake is absolutely delicious but the chocolate peanut butter frosting that goes with it is divine! We have some icing left over too... probably not for long...

Happy eating! :)

Thursday, October 17

Warm banana and chocolate dessert recipe

Ok, I know that this looks really gross but hear me out... it's not.

Now anyone who reads this blog will know that I'm a big fan of chocolate and comfort foods, so of course chocolate comfort foods are the highest tier of deliciousness in my book. This recipe is one that I dreamed up recently and it is a new favourite to eat snuggled on the lounge with a blanket and a movie. I like to think that this dessert is also a healthy dessert... it does have bananas in it after all... that makes it healthy, right?

Serves 1

1 large banana
Vegan choc-chips (I use Sweet William)

1. Cut banana in half length-ways and arrange in a bowl like a banana split.

2. Sprinkle with choc-chips and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3. Stir and enjoy.

Happy eating! :)

Thursday, September 19

Chocolate cheesecake recipe

Greetings one and all! I have not posted for quite a while as I have been working on a research project. However, I now find myself with a couple of hours free and so I thought I'd make up for my absence by posting an amazing chocolate cheesecake recipe slightly adapted from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's fabulous and never-fail cookbook - The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Makes one 23cm cheesecake

For the filling
Egg replacer made up to the equivalent of 4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup vegan 'milk' chocolate chips (I use Sweet William brand)
690g soy cream cheese (at room temperature)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the base
1 cup crushed vegan cookies (I use Ogran Outback Animals Chocolate Biscuits which I get from Coles/Woolworths and use a food processor to crumble them)
1/4 cup Nuttelex, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and lightly oil a springform cake tin.

2. In a bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and melted Nuttelex until will blended. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. Set aside.

3. Using a food processor, whip the egg replacer and the water together until it's thick and creamy. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and egg replacer mixture until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

5. Melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or using a bain-marie. Add melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture and blend thoroughly.

6. Pour mixture into the springform tin with prepared crust and bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate, cover with cling-wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, though preferably overnight.

7. Eat, and eat, and eat that absolutely delicious cake!

Happy eating! :)

Monday, July 29

Chocolate Breakfast Milk Recipe

Now in my opinion, anything that starts with 'Chocolate Breakfast' is already a winner. Sometimes I find that I don't have time to make AND eat breakfast though, or sometimes I'm just not that hungry. That's why I love smoothies, because even when you're in a rush or not feeling very hungry, you still need to eat something for breakfast. Lately my life has been a bit hectic and I've come up with this breakfast milk recipe, it's quick, easy, and surprisingly filling.

300ml soy milk
1 1/2 tbsp rolled oats
1 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse for a couple of minutes until smooth and combined. Drink immediately.

Variation: try adding half a banana and/or a scoop of chia seeds for a thicker more smoothie-like drink.

Happy drinking! :)

What I'm eating: Godzilla's BBQ chicken pizza

For those living in Adelaide, there is a fantastic take-away pizza place on Brighton Road called Godzilla Pizza. You can read more about them in Places I Love to Eat in Adelaide but basically they are a pizza bar where any pizza can be made vegetarian or vegan. They also have vegan desserts that I have yet to try.

Well, the other night Jeff and I went to Jeff's parents' house for dinner, only to remember that dinner had been cancelled. Despite being on a tight budget at the moment, we decided to treat ourselves by going to Godzilla anyway. Normally I get a vegan Supreme or Meatlovers pizza (ironic, I know!) but this time I decided to be adventurous and try something different so I got a BBQ Chicken pizza.

Well, as usual it was lovely! I ate the whole thing in one sitting! So if you're in Adelaide, I highly recommend you get yourself a tasty Godzilla pizza!

Happy eating! :)

Monday, July 8

What I'm eating: Nutella for grown-ups

I have a confession to make. One of my favourite past-times is eating Nutella straight out of the jar with a spoon. I'm somewhat of an addict. However, Nutella contains milk, so I stopped partaking in this guilty pleasure when I became vegan. However, I'm now back on the Nutella and I'll tell you why!

Another of my mum's fantastic purchases from Everything Vegan was Rawtella, raw vegan Nutella. It is amazing. It is addictive. It is almost all gone.

My partner Jeff and I have been calling Rawtella 'Nutella for grown-ups' because it has a much more sophisticated taste than Nutella. Slightly more bitter, slightly more complex, with a fantastic natural nutty taste. I would liken the experience to going from eating cheap, mass produced Cadbury family blocks to eating high quality, silky smooth, small-scale handcrafted chocolate. All I can say is, phwoar!

If you live outside the Adelaide area and would like to nab yourself some or you live in Adelaide but have a fear of leaving your house (that's ok, I don't judge) you can purchase a jar of chocolate-hazelnut heaven online through Everything Vegan's virtual store, Vegan Online.

Happy eating! :)

Monday, July 1

Lentil stew recipe

I like a nice stew on a wintry evening. This one is hearty, warming, nutritious, and has been a favourite of mine since I was a child.

Serves: 4-6

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, sliced
4 sticks celery, diced
2 zucchini, sliced
1 punnet mushrooms, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
400g tin diced tomatoes
120g tin tomato paste
6-7 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2-3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and zucchini and saute for 10 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Check the stew halfway through cooking, stir, and add more water if necessary.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: Tofutti cuties!

Tofutti sure do come up with some strange names for their ice-creams. So far I've had Flowers, Marry Me, and now Cuties. So what are Cuties? They are vegan ice-cream sandwiches. They are delicious. They also are actually quite cute because they are quite small. Naww, baby ice-cream sandwich!

*Ahem* anyway, my mum bought us a box during her recent visit to Everything Vegan and, in less than a week, they have all disappeared. The ones she got us were mint choc chip flavour but the Tofutti website tells me that they also come in vanilla, chocolate, cookies n cream, key lime pie, totally vanilla, and wild berry. Mmm... I think I have a lot more research to conduct on this product...

Happy eating! :)

Perfect pancakes recipe

One of life's great joys is making a batch of pancakes for breakfast on the weekend, I mean, when else is it socially acceptable to have a dessert for breakfast? This is my favourite pancake recipe, veganised from Eat Well, Stay Strong: a nunga cookbook for healthy living. It works every time and has very little sugar - though you wouldn't know it! I like them topped with strawberry jam, cinnamon and sugar, lemon and sugar or, of course, the classic maple syrup.

Makes: 2 large or 4 smaller pancakes

1 cup self raising flour (sometimes I use half white self raising and half wholemeal self raising and then tell myself that they are healthy pancakes)
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup soy milk
Egg replacer made up to the equivalent of 2 eggs (I use Orgran brand)
Vegetable oil

1. In a bowl mix together the four and sugar.

2. Make a well in the centre, and then add milk and egg replacer. Whisk until batter is smooth.

3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add a small knob of Nuttelex. When the fat is hot, spoon batter into the frying pan (I find it best to use a soup ladle).

4. Cook until bubbles form on the top (a pancake ready to flip looks a lot like a crumpet) and then flip and cook the on other side.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: Tofutti cheese slices on toast

Recently my mum went to her new favourite shop, Everything Vegan on Wright Street in the city (which I have still yet to visit!) and bought me a whole bunch of goodies. Among them was a packet of Tofutti cheese slices, which is basically your typical individually wrapped 'plastic cheese' except vegan.

While I don't like them just on their own, I have had them in sandwiches and they were very nice. However, I then used them to make some cheese and vegemite on toast. Oh my god, they melt so well and are so delicious! I actually can't get enough of this lately. The texture is great, unlike any other soy cheese I have tried on toast under the grill, and it melts properly - with bubbles and everything. I highly recommend trying them!

PS. If you don't live elsewhere in Australia (i.e. not in Adelaide) then you can still shop at Everything Vegan, go to their webstore Vegan Online. I have shopped there before the physical store was opened in the city and they have always been great.

Happy eating! :)

Monday, June 24

Creamy vegetable pasta recipe

This creamy vegetable pasta has become a new favourite in our house. The only downside is it uses 3 saucepans, however, on the plus side it's delicious and flexible - you can use whatever vegetables you have handy.

Serves 4

Enough cooked pasta for 4 people - spirals or penne works well
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 capsicum, finely sliced
1 zucchini, finely sliced
1/2 broccoli, cut into small florets
125g tin corn
1 cup water
1 tbsp Nuttelex
375ml soy milk
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1-2 tsp chili flakes (depending on your preference)
Salt to taste

1. While boiling the water for the pasta, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry onion, garlic, capsicum, zucchini, and broccoli for 5 minutes.

2. Add water, stir and cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring twice, until the onion is soft and the water is gone. Remove from heat and keep covered.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt Nuttelex, then add cornflour and mix until a paste is formed.

4. While stirring, add the soy milk and stir until flour paste is combined. Then add nutritional yeast, chili flakes, and salt.

5. Increase heat, stirring continually, until sauce begins to boil. At this point, it should thicken considerably. Remove from heat.

6. Drain pasta and return to saucepan. Pour sauce over vegetables and mix until thoroughly coated. Pour vegetable and sauce mixture over pasta and mix until combined. Serve.

Happy eating! :)

Wednesday, June 5

Chocolate, prune and bran muffins recipe

Having trouble getting little ones to eat food that's good for them? Or maybe it's your own mouth you're wanting to trick. Either way, these chocolate muffins are yummy AND good for you! Perfect for lunch or a snack.

Makes 12

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups wheat bran (not flakes or pellets, just regular bran)
1 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp soy milk
1 cup prunes

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and grease a 12 hole muffin tray with a little vegetable oil.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, bran, cocoa, bi-carb, and sugar until thoroughly combined.

3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the vegetable oil, vinegar, soy milk, and 1 1/2 cups of the water. Mix until just combined.

4. In a food processor, process the prunes and the remaining 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Add to the bowl and fold in.

5. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, but with a few crumbs still clinging to it.

6. Leave to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on an airing rack.

Happy eating! :)

Everything Vegan and Freedom Hill Sanctuary

Yesterday my mum visited a newly opened vegan store called Everything Vegan. Located at 270 Wright Street, Everything Vegan is Adelaide's first all-vegan grocery store. Apparently it is amazing, mum came away with lots of goodies for me and I'm planning a visit there myself soon. A quick look at their facebook page has got me very excited indeed! These are the presents that my lovely mum bought me:

Tofutti 'Marry Me' chocolate covered vanilla ice-creams, Tofutti Flowers chocolate covered flower flavoured ice-creams, Linda McCartney Country Pies, Fabulous Fudge Factory Dairy Free Fudge, Lentilicious Lime Time lentil meal, Fresca Ocean scented deodorant, and both Maple flavoured and French Vanilla Spun Fairy Floss.

But wait, there's more! Upon talking to the owner of Everything Vegan, my mum discovered that she runs a farm animal sanctuary a la Edgar's Mission (which I mentioned in this post) called Freedom Hill Sanctuary (you can also find their facebook page here) which is located in Woodside in the Adelaide Hills. Freedom Hill is the only farm animal sanctuary in South Australia and I cannot tell you how over the moon I am to have discovered it! I am so glad that places like these exist and since discovering Edgar's Mission, I had been wishing that there was a similar sanctuary here in South Australia. The sanctuary takes in abused and abandoned farm animals and their website shares the stories of the residents and how they came to be rescued. You can also donate money that goes towards animal care and vet bills, sponsor a sanctuary resident, or volunteer so if you think any of those things are things you might be interested in doing, please pop on over to their website.

But wait, there's EVEN MORE! I quick little wander in the realm of the Internet also informed me that the VERY SAME PEOPLE run Vegan Online, an online vegan grocery store that I have made many a purchase from and blogged about previously.


Happy eating (and shopping)! :)

Overnight oats recipe

I love making overnight oats for breakfast because they are so satisfying and yet require so little effort. Just mix it all together before you go to bed, and the work is all done while you sleep, excellent. This recipe is a veganised version of one in Beverly LeBlanc's excellent cookbook, The Student Vegetarian Cookbook.

Serves 1

30-40g rolled oats
Soy milk

1. Measure the oats out into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, then at least enough milk to cover the oats (experiment over a few days to find out what kind of texture you prefer).

2. Mix thoroughly, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.

3. Remove from fridge, and stir in whatever toppings you want. I have used a variety of fresh and dried fruit, agave syrup, and my favourite additives: brown sugar and cinnamon, as shown below.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: vegan sushi at uni

For the times, they are a-changin'... The other day I wandered into the cafeteria at uni and discovered that they have begun selling vegan sushi, yay! It's so nice when you see little changes in the world like this that represent a larger change in society. And the sushi was nice too.

Happy eating! :)

Tuesday, June 4

Crispy garlic bread recipe

A quick, easy, and very tasty accompaniment :)

Serves: as many as you make it for!

Pita bread
Garlic clove(s), peeled
Nuttelex or another vegan margarine, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

2. Rub one side of the pita bread all over with the garlic.

3. Cut the pita bread into smaller pieces, as you would a pizza.

4. Brush the bread pieces with melted Nuttelex or other margarine, sprinkle with salt, and put on a baking tray.

5. Bake for 5-10 minutes until hard and golden.

Happy eating! :)

Sunday, June 2

What I'm eating: Leda gingernut biscuits

Once a week I go and visit the family pets that I left behind at my mum's house when I moved out. Though I have my lovely mice, Calvin and Alex, at my house, I miss my other pets a lot. However, it was better for them to all stay together with the rest of the family, and besides, we can't have cats or dogs in our rental property. Anyway, so once a week I go to my mum's house and take the dogs for a walk and sit down with the cats for a while and give them all a big pat.

The other day when I went there, it was such a lovely afternoon that I made a cup of tea and sat in the back garden. My mum had bought some Leda Ginger Nut Biscuits and left them out for me, so I had some of them as well. I hadn't had a ginger nut in years and I'd forgotten how great they are, especially when dipped in tea! Surprisingly, one of my cats loved them too! He tried to steal them off my plate and then when I gave him a little bit to show him that he wouldn't like it, he wolfed it up and tried to steal more.

So I highly recommend having a few Leda Ginger Nut Biscuits with your next cup of tea, though perhaps make sure there are no cats nearby.

Happy eating!

Wednesday, May 29

Microwave mug brownie recipe

Being a woman, once a month my body loudly demands offerings of chocolate. Its preferred form is brownies. Before I was vegan, I had a simple solution to this: single serve packets of triple-choc 'microwave brownies'. Sometimes I would eat three in one day. Since going vegan though, I now just eat a lot of Cottees chocolate ice-cream topping because the last thing I feel like doing while moping on the lounge with my hot water bottle is baking a batch of brownies... then doing all the dishes created by making said brownies.

But lo! I have discovered a delicious and pretty effortless solution! Enter.... the microwave mug brownie! I saw this recipe as an image on Facebook, I'm not sure who originally created it, but the image I saw can be found on this website. It takes 2 minutes to make, 1 minute and 40 seconds to cook, creates almost no dishes, and superbly satisfies the bodily demands for sugar, fat, and carbs. Truly, the food of gods.

Serves: 1

1/4 cup white self raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp water

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a mug.

2. Add oil and water and mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Cook in microwave on high for 1 minute 40 seconds.

4. Eat as is or top with chocolate topping.

Variation: add 1-2 tbsp vegan choc-chips (such as Sweet William) to dry ingredients at step 1 for a very chocolaty chocolate brownie.

Happy eating! :)

Saturday, May 11

Tropical paradise smoothie recipe

We have been having freakishly warm weather for this time of year here in Adelaide so I've been getting about in shorts and t-shirts, hanging my washing out and getting it DRY, and enjoying the warm breezes and sunshine. All of this has got me feeling very summery and so this morning the Tropical Paradise Smoothie was born.

Serves 1

Flesh of 1 mango
Pulp of 1 passion fruit
1/2 banana (or you could use a so-tiny-it's-cute ladyfinger banana like I did!)
1 dessert spoon of dessicated coconut
2 tbsp vanilla soy ice-cream (coconut ice-cream or Coyo yoghurt would also be delicious)
1 cup breakfast juice (or you could use tropical or orange juice)

1. Blend it all up until smooth.

2. Drink it up with your eyes closed, pretending you're relaxing on the beach while on holiday in a tropical paradise. Your holiday is long and you have no worries in the world.

3. Sigh contentedly.

Happy eating (and drinking)! :)

Saturday, May 4

Fadge recipe

I come from an English-Irish background and fadge is a traditional dish in my family. Originating from Ireland and eaten as part of a fry up, cooked breakfast, or as a tasty snack, fadge can only really be described as a 'potato pancake'. I know, it sounds really gross doesn't it? It's not though! Fadge is something that on paper sounds so wrong and yet tastes so right. It really is something you have to try and I can honestly say I have never fed it to anyone who didn't like it (picky children included). It also provides a 'choose your own adventure' ending, as you will see. Be brave and give fadge a chance I say!

Serves: not many in our family as we all want to hog it for ourselves!

Cold mashed potatoes, preferably refrigerated overnight
Plain white flour

1. Using your hands, mix the flour into the mashed potato until a dough is formed. It should be soft but not too sticky.

2. On a floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is around half a centimetre thick. Using a glass or something else of a similar size (my mum uses a small saucepan lid), cut the dough into round pancake shapes.

3. Cook under the grill until golden on both sides. Bubbles will appear on the surface and may turn slightly black, that's fine.

Now, here's where the cooking becomes 'choose your own adventure'! Either, you can stop at this point, pop your fadge on a plate, slather them with Nuttelex, and eat them straight away (as I do - because I'm impatient), or you can continue on to step 4 and make them the traditional way (which is also absolutely delicious but takes a few minutes more).

4. Heat a little Nuttelex in a frying pan. Fry the fadge until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Happy eating! :)

French onion soup recipe

For Christmas I asked for a food processor and when I unpacked the beautiful thing, I found that at the back of the instruction manual was a whole section of recipes! Score! Double present! I thought to myself, and hastily cut out the recipes I liked. This soup recipe is the first one I have made and it's fantastic, especially for an instruction manual! Unfortunately I have to say that I didn't have any brandy on hand, so I can't say how good it would be with that added. However, I'm sure it would only add to the deliciousness and plan to use it next time!

Serves 2-3

4 large onions (about 1kg)
50g Nuttelex
1tsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
50ml brandy
750ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme

1. Using the slicing attachment of the food processor, thinly slice all the onions. If you don't have a food processor to do your slicing for you (and give you delicious recipes), then you'll have to cut them in halves or quarters and slice them thinly by hand, you poor thing.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the Nuttelex and oil, then add the onion. Cook until onion is golden brown.

3. Add the brown sugar and brandy and cook off for 5 minutes.

4. Add the stock, balsamic vinegar, bay leaves, and thyme, and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.

5. Fish out bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Serve.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: pasta with butter and cheese

When I was a child, one of my favourite meals was "pasta with butter and cheese" (just as complex as it sounds!) and the other day I had a real hankerin' for it again! I revisited my old culinary delight in a new form: "pasta with Nuttelex and nutritional yeast". Sure, it doesn't really have the same ring to it, but boy was it good! This old favourite has just become relevant again!

If you have children, you can rest assured that this meal has very little nutritional value. However, they will eat it. You win some, you lose some eh?

Happy eating! :)

A question worth contemplating

I have recently learnt of Edgar's Mission farm sanctuary, located in Victoria, and the fantastic question they pose to society:

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn't we?"

That, in one sentence, is what veganism is all about! And an excellent question to pose to non-vegans. I'm going to store it away in my brain for the next time someone asks "so why are you vegan?" It's definitely my philosophical gem of the week!

Thursday, April 18

A big apology to everyone who has commented on this blog!

Oh dear, I've made a boo-boo. I've accidentally deleted every comment on this blog! I thought I was just deleting them from the list, not actually DELETING them. I am so sorry to everyone who has left comments for me! It wasn't personal, I loved hearing from you all very much.

Please do comment again, I promise I won't delete it next time!

*sigh* Oh well, live and learn...

Golden Lentils and Rice Recipe

We have recently started making this recipe from Beverly LeBlanc's The Student Vegetarian Cookbook and it's fabulous because 1) it's easy, making it great for midweek dinners; and 2) apart from an onion, the ingredients are all things that are always in our pantry. The only downside is soaking the rice for half an hour, though this is only a problem because I always forget about that part so dinner always ends up half an hour later than intended! If you can remember about soaking the rice, you'll be fine.

Serves 2

125 g long grain rice
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
125g red lentils
450ml vegetable stock

1. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Tip the rice into a bowl, cover with fresh cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain.

2. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion and stir for 3-5 minutes until soft.

3. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, and salt. Add the rice and lentils and continue stirring until the rice looks translucent.

4. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Stir once, reduce heat to low, cover, and leave to cook - without lifting the lid - for 15 minutes. The surface should be covered with small indentations.

5. Re-cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff using a fork and then serve.

Happy eating! :)

Thursday, March 28

Peasant pasta recipe

I worked with an Italian lady who said that this kind of pasta is known as 'peasant food'. Though very simple, I find that this is a lovely way to enjoy pasta (and very good to make when food stocks are running low!).

Serves 2

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
Large handful of continental parsley, chopped
Cooked spaghetti for 2

1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Crush the garlic with the flat side of a knife and fry in oil until golden, taking care not to burn it. Remove from heat and discard garlic.

2. Drain the spaghetti and return to the pot. Pour over warm olive oil in small batches, mixing between, until pasta is nicely coated but not dripping with oil.

3. Throw in the parsley and mix until combined.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: a touching farewell present

I recently left my job in child care and one of my colleagues, who is himself moving toward a more animal-friendly diet, gave me a very thoughtful farewell present. LINDA MCCARTNEY COUNTRY PIES! I have always bought them online and, being a poor student, have only had them as a special treat. My colleague has informed me though, that the Foodland on Glen Osmond Road, Frewville, sells them and many other Linda McCartney products! So if you're in Adelaide and want a box of tasty pies, you now know where to look!

Anyway, I was very touched by this lovely farewell present. As such, I ate the pies for dinner that night with chips and sauce, in front of the TV. The way a pie is supposed to be eaten.

Happy eating! :)

Homemade muesli recipe

I love pottering around in the kitchen on the weekend with the lovely smell of baking muesli wafting through the air and that feeling you get in your heart when you're being all crafty and self-sufficient(ish). I also love knowing what's going into my food. Most muesli is packed with sugar, coated in honey, and surprisingly lacking in fibre. Not so when you make it with this recipe! Not only is this muesli delicious but it is extremely fibrous. This is of course good for your bowels but I must warn you, it's only good for them if you drink plenty of water! So eat up, then drink up!

6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup wheat germ
2 cups bran (NOT bran flakes or pellets, just plain wheat bran)
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup golden syrup
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped dried apples
1 cup chopped dried prunes

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

2. In a large bowl, mix oats, seeds, coconut, wheat germ, and bran until well combined.

3. Stir in the oil, then the golden syrup.

4. Bake muesli in a large, deep, baking tray for 20 minutes, stirring twice. It should be golden in colour.

5. Leave to cool, then add dried fruit and stir to combine. Store in an airtight container.

Happy eating! :)

Sweet and sour chicken recipe

Sweet and sour was something I'd always disliked, until I gave this recipe from No Meat and Three Veg a try. Wow. While it takes a little while to prepare, the finished product is well worth it! As Jeff said, "A++, would eat again", I totally agree with him. The whole time we were eating it we just couldn't stop raving about how delicious it was! I also took leftovers to work for lunch the next day and it was just as good.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: kiddie ice-cream

Those who know me personally will know that in many respects I am just a large child. I also work in early childhood so most of my friends are under five years old. My childishness also extend to my food choices. For example, ice-cream is awesome at any time of the day. Especially chocolate ice-cream. With LOTS of chocolate topping. And rainbow sprinkles.

Go on, live life on the child side.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: Asian take-away

There is an excellent dine-in/take-away Asian restaurant called Vegetarian Delight (details under the tab labelled 'places I like to eat in Adelaide'). The place is like mock-meat heaven and everything is delicious. We recently got a (large!) take-away order for them and pigged out in front of the TV - because sometimes those things just have to be done.

Here (clockwise from top) you can see beef and black bean, satay tofu, samosa, honey chicken, special fried rice, and prawn crackers. A mighty feast!

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: pizza on toast

Some days you feel like something yummy and relatively healthy but you just don't feel like doing much cooking. Enter pizza on toast. Pizza on toast is a concept I came up with as a starving teenager, constantly searching the house for more food to fuel my growth and with little consideration as to how odd the combinations of ingredients might seem to others. Basically, pizza on toast is: toast, topped with tomato paste, then grilled with whatever pizza-like toppings you can find (including tinned corn when I was in said starving teenager stage).

My latest pizza on toast experience involved dried 'Italian herbs', capsicum, pineapple, tomato, and nutritional yeast. Mmmm...

Happy eating! :)

Cheater's sausage roll recipe

Until recently I worked at a child care centre; this recipe was shared with me by the chef there who made these sausage rolls for vegetarian children. I will never make (healthier) sausage rolls from scratch again. I have tested these on children myself and also on meat eaters and all agree that they are awesome!

The recipe uses regular Sanitarium vegetarian sausages, which I normally detest as they are rubbery and have a strange flavour, instead I always buy the fancier Sanitarium sausages. However, the cheap crappy sausages work wonderfully in this recipe! Do not use nice, fancy sausages as your sausage rolls will turn out horribly.

Serves as many as you like

Sanitarium vegetarian sausages
Frozen puff pastry (check the ingredients for butter)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (or whatever it says on your pastry packet)

2. Thaw pastry according to packet instructions.

3. Wrap sausages in pastry.

4. Bake until golden.

Happy eating! :)

Savoury muffin recipe

I discovered the recipe for these little gems here on an excellent blog called No Meat and Three Veg. I really love this blog and as well as having heaps of yummy, quick, and easy vegan recipes, it's also Australian so all the ingredients are easy to source.

These muffins are similar to quiche in many respects and are great for lunches or picnics. They are amazingly tasty but what would you expect from a recipe modified from Play School? I won't post the recipe here as you can find it on the link above. I do make some changes though when I make them; firstly, I use a small tin of corn rather than corn on the cob, secondly, I use regular white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar, and lastly, sometimes I don't use fresh herbs. The only reason for these changes is that is suits my individual pantry and shopping habits.

I highly recommend you pop on over to No Meat and Three Veg, I know I have a few more recipes from there waiting to be tried out!

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: hot cocoa

While reading a book about the history of Cadburys, I really got into cocoa. I don't think I'd ever actually had cocoa as a drink before but now I'm hooked. I started making it with cooking cocoa because that's the closest match to the cocoa that was being drunk in my book, rich, fatty, and with no added sugar or other agents to help it combine with the milk. Wow, I love it! You get these nice little creamy lumps of cocoa and I love that it's not sickly sweet unlike many hot chocolate mixes. I must admit, I was even drinking this in the height of summer. Now that the weather's getting cooler, it makes my cocoa addiction seem less insane.

Happy drinking! :)

Sunday, January 27

What I'm eating: Linda McCartney sausage rolls

As mentioned in my last post, for Christmas I received a voucher for The Cruelty Free Shop. One of the things we bought with that voucher was Linda McCartney sausage rolls. Being a massive, bordering-on-obsessive fan of Linda McCartney country pies (as mentioned in this post and this post), I had high hopes for this product.

I was not let down.

All I can say is yuuuuuuuummm! Yum yum yum yum yum! Mouthgasm.

I actually did a little happy dance while sitting on the lounge eating these and watching Chuck. They are that good.

As good as the country pies? Hmmm... maybe not. But sausage rolls are never as good as pies are they? These are the perfect sausage rolls. Serve them up to even the fussiest meat eaters (children) and I bet they will love them too.

I wish I had more right now. I'd have them for breakfast.

Having now tried more than one product, I can safely say that Linda McCartney goes down on this blog as a Cool Company!

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: calamari with lemon and thyme quinoa

For Christmas a very thoughtful relative gave me a voucher for The Cruelty Free Shop which we happily spent on foods that we have not seen here in Adelaide (some old favourites and some new things to try). One of the things we bought was a box of Just Green Calamari. Being summer, we thought it would be lovely to have with some salad one hot evening.

Well, the other day I decided the time was right. I made a delicious rainbow salad of mixed baby salad leaves, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, corn, and chopped walnuts, with an olive oil, lemon juice, and cracked pepper dressing. I also decided to cook a packet of Celebrate Health Lemon and Thyme Quinoa (it's very easy, just add water, simmer for 10 minutes, then leave to sit for 5 minutes). I thought this was something I'd never had before but then it ended up tasting quite familiar so I think maybe I have had it once before. This packet had been sitting in my pantry for quite a while, waiting for the right accompaniment. I believe my mum bought it for me in Woolworths or Coles.

Then I excitedly got out the calamari. I looked over the packet for the cooking instructions. Unfortunately, my eyes found the ingredients. Ingredient #1: algae gum. What the?! Yuck! Well, I told myself, I'm sure it tastes delicious anyway. So I cooked it up and served a very mouth-watering looking meal. I ate the salad, refreshing and interesting. I ate the quinoa, awesome! I ate the calamari. It tasted fine I guess, but my mind kept saying over and over "Algae gum. Algae gum. You're eating algae..." I ended up having to force it down and I felt a little nauseous afterwards, though I know that was entirely psychological. Jeff, who I had told about the ingredients but would eat anything, said it tasted fine.

There was one more serving left in the packet so I decided to put the algae gum to the back of my mind and give the calamari another shot at lunch the next day. Nope. Once again, as I was chewing, the image of slimy, smelly, algae filled my mind again. I couldn't eat it. So sorry if you were planning on eating and enjoying Just Green Calamari in blissful ignorance, unaware of the main ingredient. I'm sure that If I hadn't known what was in it I would have liked it. On the other hand, if you're like Jeff and eating algae gum doesn't phase you, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this product!

On the plus side, the quinoa was brilliant. I definitely recommend it!

And I made a rockin' salad.

Happy eating!

Mexican Bean Soup Recipe

This soup is quite hearty and seems like it's been lovingly cooked all day (it's quick though!). Very warming and satisfying and a great crowd-pleaser. Please note: you will need a food processor for this soup.

Serves 4

2 onions, finely chopped
Canola oil
3 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp chili powder
2 tins kidney beans (425g each)
1 tin kidney beans (425g) pureed in a food processor
1 tsp ground cumin
400ml vegan beef stock (I use Massel brand)

1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in a little oil for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook for a further 1 minute.

2. Add whole beans, pureed beans, cumin, and beef stock. Stir well.

3. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve into bowls and top with a generous dollop of salsa.

Happy eating! :)

Saturday, January 12

What I'm eating: coyo coconut yoghurt

My mum recently bought me some Coyo coconut yoghurt in both original and mixed berry varieties from The Organik Store at Gleneng. All I can say is this: dear lord I am in love! Coyo yoghurt is everything soy yoghurts are not; creamy, tangy, appetizing...

I see Coyo as being a hit with children as well as adults and it strikes me that no one has thought of making yoghurt out of coconut milk before. Maybe they have but they could just never hit it on the head like Coyo has. A quick google has informed me that the yoghurt also comes in passion fruit and mango varieties, which I am keen to try. Coyo also apparently makes 3 varieties of ice-cream! Natural, chocolate, and acai berry, yum!

Coyo is going down on this blog as a cool company and I think that everybody should go the Coyo. Beware though! You might go on a yoghurt binge and make yourself feel very sick like I did!

Here is one of my delicious breakfasts of fresh fruit salad topped with Coyo coconut yoghurt.

Happy eating! :)

What I'm eating: hot dogs

You know what? Hot dogs have pretty much zero nutritional value (especially when they're made with that super-processed pork meat and suspicious red skin!) but they sure are tasty and easy to make. That's why they're a favourite in our house. Ok, it's really because they provide an excuse to eat copious amounts of mustard, but they're still tasty and easy to make.

I buy Sanitarium Rosemary and Sage Sausages which are in the fridge section of my local Coles. Team this with some lightly toasted buns, fried onions, tomato sauce, and, of course, American mustard, and you have yourself one tasty hot dog!

Happy eating! :)

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

This chocolate mousse from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is absolutely heavenly! I made if for my family Christmas dinner and it was a big hit. One of the very picky children (who once cried when he found out that there were carrots in the carrot cake) even said "This is delicious! You can't even taste the tofu!". If that's not a compliment then I don't know what is! This is now my favourite dessert by far!

Note: you may have to halve the recipe and blend it in two batches - unless you have a massive blender in which case, carry on!

Serves: around 10

2 cups nondairy 'milk' or semisweet chocolate chips (I use Sweet William brand)
680g silken tofu
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat the chocolate chips in a microwave until melted, stirring at regular intervals.

2. Put the tofu, melted chocolate, soy milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth - stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor and under the blades.

3. Pour into a large bowl or into individual serving bowls and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Happy eating! :)

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

Coming from and English-Irish background, I'm a big fan of Yorkshire puddings! Drenched in (vegan!) gravy, accompanying your roast vegetables and (vegan!) meat, these often overlooked bready friends really top off a meal. Even better, they're REALLY easy to make.

Makes: 12

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
Egg replacer made up to the equivalent of 2 eggs (I use Ogran brand)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
Vegetable or canola oil for greasing

1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees C. Lightly oil a muffin tray using vegetable or canola oil, I use the spray-on version for this.

2. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg replacer, milk, and water all at once.

3. Gradually stir in the flour from the sides of the bowl and mix until the batter is smooth. Cover and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

4. After standing, give the batter a gentle stir and then spoon the mixture out evenly into the muffin tins.

5. Bake for around 10 minutes or until puddings are puffed and golden. Note: they will not rise and will be quite flat - that's how they are supposed to be!

Happy eating! :)

Peppermint Cream Recipe

These peppermint creams always go down really well, especially with children! The recipe can be found at The Very Good Bakery.

Though the recipe says it will make 30 peppermint creams, I found it only makes around 20, though maybe I'm just very generous in my servings! I don't bother rolling the dough and cutting it either, I just spoon it into patty pans.

Happy eating! :)