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!