Saturday, 4 April 2020

Thai Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Soup)

Another classic Thai recipe from RinS Cookbook that I made a vegan version of. SO GOOD! My favorite Thai soup!



Thai Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Soup)

Ingredients

1 stalks lemongrass, sliced
1 inch ginger sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tomato or 5 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 onion thinly sliced
2 Kaffir Lime leaves cut in half
Coriander/cilantro stalks in broth, leaves for garnish (I used 1 drop doTERRA Cilantro EO)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
4 thai chilis, seeds removed and crushed whole
1 1/2 cup broth or water
2 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls vegan Fish sauce
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup lime juice
1-2Tbls chilli oil
Extra chilli flakes for garnish


Method

Add everything in the ingredient list up to (and including)  the broth simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add in sugar and vegan fish sauce and boil for 5 minutes (or longer if you have onion that needs to cook more).
Remove from heat and pour on the coconut milk and mushrooms and pour into serving bowl.
Pour over the lime juice and cilli oil on top or leave to side with extra chilli & cilantro leaves to garnish to taste.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Vegan Product Review - March 2020

Sorry it's been a while since my last product review, 2019 in fact, so some of these items might be seasonal. Hope there's something in here for everyone!

Normally known for regular beer, this Abita Root Beer, seriously amazing and not too shabby mixed with rum either! ;)
I confirmed with the company that the sugar they use is vegan - yay!



I was a bit excited when I saw this Dr Paw Paw ointment of the UK at (??Ross or TJ Maxx??) because I LOVE Lucas's Paw Paw Ointment of Australia and have used little else for decades but I hate that it contains petroleum jelly. This brand doesn't! This particular one was tinted Outrageous Orange which was cute but I'd be keen to find the plain one, might have to be an online find!





This was my pick of Xmas 2019, Theo's vegan Nutcracker Brittle chocolate. The orange cranberry one was good too. I'll spare you the details on how many I actually guzzled but I hope they are back next Xmas!



Didn't really do much for my b'day in December but I wanted cake (obvs) and I didn't feel like making one (and then being forced to eat it for breakfast for a week) so when I saw this Dolci di Maria single serve vegan GF Chocoalte cupcake I was like YES PLEASE! Pretty good actually! Found in the fridge isle of a health food store...no longer with us :(


These Made Good Granola bars/bites are AMAZEBALLS!! The Choc Chip one was my favourite but they were a hit with everyone!


I found this Seoul vegan GF Bulgogi Sauce in Wholefoods (I think, sorry!). My kids loved it and said it was pretty closed to the stuff in the Korean restaurant so yay!


This Miami Cocktail Co Margarita mix is the most vile thing I think I've ever tasted. Thank goodness I bought it at the discount store (for under $5) and didn't spend the price normally afforded it in the health stores (around $15). YUCK!


I've been really into Too Faced make up at them moment. I'm loving the coverage and smooth texture of the Born This Way collection. I went back to using the "Better Than Sex" Mascara and got the primer too which I've been liking. I had an expert tell me that it's best to by the primer in the brand that you're buying your foundation as they normally are formulated to work together. The more you know!


Oat milk is my new favourite thing. It's so creamy so particularly for putting in tea it is a really great substitute for milk, no strong flavour either.
  This is Planet brand but I've been using a few different ones.


I didn't think this Lavva yoghurt was very good, I wanted a plain Greek style vegan yogurt for cooking and this had a very strong coconut flavour. The Kite Hill plain unsweetened worked very well though.


This cream cheese is amazing!! I was having it on my toast every day - it reminds me of the Miyoko's chive artesian cheese (but half the price). It was great with cucumber too, yummy cucumber sandwiches mmmmm
 

Thanks to a sale at Wholefoods I also got a chance to finally try Miyoko's butter. O.M.G. Granted it's been a while but this tasted like butter to me. I had it plain on bread and felt so fancy y'all!


I LOVE this wine I found on sale at Whoefoods. This organic white Bordeaux by Les Hauts de Lagarde is a mix of semillon and sauvignon grapes. SO GOOD. The red looks almost the same label wise so make sure you get the white. The red was not nearly as good but both vegan and organic :) 


These Birthday Do Bites by Leah's Better Bites were such a cute idea, I got them for my son's birthday. I found them a bit doughy/dry but I'm not a fan of raw cookie dough, give me the cookie every time! I did think it was cool that these were vegan and GF though!  


Loving this simple and inexpensive yet effective vegan skincare range out of Canada called The Ordinary. They have difference skin care regimes so make sure you do their website test to see what products you need and how to use them. I love the caffeine eye serum!



This is a new meal I found of Amy's which was vegan and GF and tasted nothing like a Thai dish but was incredible. I still can't exactly tell you what was so great about it. The flavours just worked so well together. There was almost a fishy taste to it though, in a good way, if you like fish LOL 


This chocolate by Alter Eco wasn't bad at all. I got it on sale somewhere but I was intrigued by the quinoa part - it worked though! Like crunchy chocolate. Not too bitter for dark chocolate.


I really like this Marinelli's pasta sauce I got on sale, all very natural ingredients and a product of Italy. Their sauces are all vegan and have no sugar. I've really been liking Trader Joe's Organic pasta sauces too.


These La Panzanella were given to me by a friend who didn't like them because she said they were bland. But bland is exactly what I want in a cracker. I want to taste the expensive vegan cheese or topping not the salty flavours of the cracker! If you've been looking for a vegan gluten free water cracker these are the closest thing I've found.


Never tried this ice-cream brand before I saw it in the discount store. New Barn has very simple ingredients and the Coffee Bean and Banana Choc Chip flavours I've tried so far were really good, simple too like you made it yourself.


OBSESSED with Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn with Himalayan Pink Salt. Literally it's organic popcorn with coconut oil and salt but tastes like movie popcorn. 


I had never heard of these Dr. Praeger's Chick'n Tenders until I saw them on BOGO at Publix. They are vegan and GF and let me tell you, my kids went mad over them! I secretly love them too, the BBQ and Buffalo flavours are the best (not spicy) but the plain ones weren't great. Maybe better as an added ingredient.


Finally thanks to Publix BOGO sale had a chance to try Beyond Beef. So far just made meatballs but they were so good, very meat-like! Similar flavour to the Beyond Meat Burgers.


I grabbed these Falafel mix at Trader Joe's (vegan & GF). They were pretty good actually! They had really good flavour, not too salty or anything. Easy to prep too, just add water.




Sunday, 15 March 2020

Hungarian "Hunter" Stew

This is based on a recipe from Taste of Home. I think it's delicious straight from the slow cooker but there's an added step if you have the time to do it. I thought it tasted great either way. Big hit with the kids too! You can add two red or green capsicum peppers too along with the tomatoes if wanted, no one in my family likes them except me so I omitted them. I've also just dumped everything from the first part of the recipe in the slow cooker (I did brown the sausages on the stove) and it still turned out great.


 With the optional step;

Straight from slow cooker with a dash of vegan sour cream; 



Hungarian "Hunter" Stew

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound extra firm tofu (cubed) or faux meat (I used Beyond Meat Sausages and it amazing)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1-1/2 cups water
3 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Optional for after the slow cooker;
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup vegan sour cream


Method
Place potatoes and onions in a 3-qt. slow cooker.
In a large skillet, brown tofu or vegan meat in oil on all sides.
Baking the tofu would give it a nice firmness and add to potato mixture.
Pour off excess fat from skillet.
Add water to the drippings, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan; heat through.
Stir in the paprika, salt, caraway seeds, tomato paste and garlic and pour into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Add tomatoes; cover and cook 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender.
With a slotted spoon, transfer meat and vegetables to a large serving bowl; cover and keep warm.

Optional step;
Pour cooking juices into a small saucepan.
Combine flour and cold water until smooth; gradually whisk into the pan.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from the heat; whisk in sour cream. Stir into meat mixture.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

This was a mix of two different recipes from the following sites; Rhian's Recipes and One Green Planet.
I think royal icing would work better if you weren't serving them straight away. I made mini muffins for the kids (they loved them with out the drizzle too if you wanted to leave out that added sugar) and muffin/cake pods in ramekins for the adults. :)
Makes around 12 muffins/24 mini muffins



Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins:
1/4 cup coconut oil
200 ml unsweetened non-dairy milk
6Tbls 6 Tbls orange juice
2 Tbls orange zest
10 Tbls maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
3 Tbls poppy seeds
150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal)
150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend
2 heaped tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

For the drizzle:
1/2 cup vegan powdered/icing sugar
2 Tbls orange juice

Instructions
For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, poppy seeds and ground almonds
Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
Transfer the mixture between muffin cases in a muffin tin
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
For the syrup:
Whilst the muffins are baking, mix together the lemon juice and maple syrup
Drizzle it over the muffins as soon as they’re out of the oven - it will soak into the muffins better when they're hot or wait till cooled for royal icing.
Nice to heat up slightly once they've been in the fridge.


Saturday, 4 January 2020

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries are packed full of vitamin C, antioxidants and immune boosting properties (more information on studies here) so here's a way to get that in your every day...on a budget :)


Homemade Elderberry Syrup
(makes around 2 cups)

Ingredients

2/3 cup dried organic elderberries
1-2" ginger grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 1/2 cups water


Method

Add water, berries, ginger, clove and cinnamon to a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat until boiled.
Lower heat, cover and simmer for 60 minutes.
Allow to cool to warm then strain liquid into a bowl.
Whisk in maple syrup, add more to taste.
Transfer to sterilized* containers.


*to steralize your jars/bottles, wash with dish soap and hot water and heat in a 275F oven for 20 minutes.


Dose is;
For Daily Health; 10ml (2 tsps) for adults and 5ml (1 tsp) for children
For cold & flu; Same dosage as above but repeated 3-4 times per day.




Thursday, 2 January 2020

Garden Spaghetti

Based on the old Italian recipe "Whore's Pasta" (I assume because those ingredients were cheap in Italy at the time), this dish is wonderful fresh and the flavors come together so beautifully. I substitute a splash of "ume" plum vinegar for the anchovies, gives that lovely fresh by the Mediterranean feel.
You can add whatever extras you have; red onion, fresh basil, vegan Parmesan etc.
For a healthier alternative you can serve with zucchini/butternut noodles instead of pasta.



Garden Spaghetti
(Serves 2 mains, 4 starters)

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
Olive oil (I like basil infused)
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
2 Tbls capers
"ume" plum vinegar (optional)

GF Spaghetti


Method

Slice cherry tomatoes down the center and when finished with the batch crush them with a potato masher or fork.

Add tomatoes and garlic (and onion if using) to a medium-large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and allow to cook on a low-medium heat to break down, around 10 minutes).

Start on your pasta, cook as per instructions.
Add olives, capers, vinegar and fresh herbs if using.

Season with salt and pepper per taste.
Stir until warmed through then set aside.
Drain pasta and transfer to serving plates.
Add a ladle of sauce to each plate and finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil (basil infused works well).
Serve with sauce on top or mix together before serving out.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Christmas Lunch 2019

What's on my vegan Christmas plate this year? Let me show you!!

I made the Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe for Xmas glazed ham which has been sitting in my drafts for years! It didn't turn out as good as I was hoping but it was still delicious! Just wish I could have had the marinade get into the middle of the tofu and have the tofu chewier but I used a shallow dish so I think that's why there was too much liquid while baking!



Also on the plate; Rosemary Potatoes, Roasted Veg (red onion, garlic, radish & turnip), Southern Style Collard Greens (my current addiction), mushroom gravy (pureed this year) & Xmas Jelly.



I wait all year for apple pie! YUMMMMM! Served with vegan vanilla ice-cream.



Xmas Glazed Ham

From the amazing genius of Isa Chandra aka Post Punk Kitchen chef. One of the few GF recipes I've found! Have been wanting to make this for AGES! It didn't turn out as well as I hoped, I marinated overnight and still didn't feel like the middle really got any flavor. She recommends pressing for 30 minutes on both sides which I didn't do. It still tasted pretty good. I'm wondering if I pureed the tofu and added in seasoning like with the vegan turkey then follow the recipe below if that would have helped. Definitely very edible to me, just not so much for the non-vegans in the house :(
Also I used a shallow dish and I think it allowed for too much glaze, baking it in liquid essentially. I felt like the cloves looked really impressive but gave too strong of a flavor and also annoying to pick out. I served with Christmas Jelly.



Xmas Glazed Ham

Ingredients

Marinade; 
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
FOR THE TOFU:
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, pressed
8 thin orange slices
20 to 25 whole cloves

Glaze;
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam
1 tablespoon whiskey
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon smoked salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Method

MAKE THE TOFU: In a shallow dish, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Place the block of tofu in the marinade, turn to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Arrange the orange slices in an even layer in the center of the parchment. Place the marinated tofu block on the bed of oranges.
Carefully score the top of the tofu block with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern, about 1⁄4 inch deep. Press the whole cloves into the intersections of the cuts (at the corners of the diamonds). Bake for 1 hour.

IN THE MEANTIME, MAKE THE GLAZE: Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced by half and thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

After the tofu has baked for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and pour the glaze evenly all over the top. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Allow the tofu to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Homemade Toothpaste

I got this original recipe from Authority Dental and I used it as a base to create a new one.


Homemade Toothpaste

Ingredients

2 Tbls Baking Soda
2 Tbls Coconut Oil
10 drops of essential oil (Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Rosemary & Wild Orange are good ones to use.)

Method

Heat coconut oil and baking soda on a low heat and until melted.
Whisk until well blended and whisk in the essential oils.
Allow to sit for a few hours or in the fridge to harden.
Keep in an air tight container.

Gingerbread Cookies

Taken from Cara Reed's book Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking. Check out her awesome website Fork and Beans! I made a huge batch for everyone at work so I just used a sprinkle over some icing sugar instead of making the royal icing.


Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

For cookies: 
1/2 c vegan butter (I used Miyoko's)
2 1/2 c gluten-free all purpose flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mills)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c molasses
1 flaxseed meal egg (1 Tb flaxseed meal + 2 Tbs warm water, allow to sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

For Icing:
1 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
non-dairy milk
natural food coloring (optional)


Method

In a large bowl, beat margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or till softened.
Add about half the flour.
Add sugar, molasses, flax egg, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Beat till thoroughly combined.
Beat or stir in the remaining flour.
Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 3 hours or till easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet, then set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough in to 1/8 inch thickness.
Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut dough into shapes.
Place 1″ apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or till edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack.

My three year old loved helping with the rolling and cookie cutting ;)