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! :)