Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Vegan Meat Pies

Recipe from Vegan Sweet & Simple!

Vegan Meat Pies

1 cup superfine brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour (I substituted for rice flour)
½ cup potato starch
¼ cup sweet rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
½ cup cold, hard vegan butter or margarine.
¾ cup ice water

1½ cups of dry textured soy protein (I used Gardien crumbles so didn't need the water or bouillon)
Hot water
2 tsps vegetable bouillon paste or powder
1 small brown onion, diced
¼ cup corn flour
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup ketchup (I used homemade)
1 tbsp BBQ sauce (i used homemade)
1 tbsp vegan and gluten-free worcestershire sauce
2 tsps vegemite (I used Marmite).
¼ cup peas
I also included a spash of red wine
Water, as necessary


In a mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients so that they are well combined.
Add the butter a little at a time and mix using a pastry cutter on your stand mixer or by hand using a fork.
Once the butter has been evenly incorporated into the mixture and it appears crumbly, make a well in the middle and add the ice water.
Mix with a fork until you have a nice dough, but don’t overwork it!
Pat dough together with your hands and then turn it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.
Enclose the dough in the wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the crust is chilling, prepare the filling
Put 1½ cups of dry textured soy protein in a medium bowl and cover with hot water.
Add 2 tsps of bouillon to the soy protein, mix and allow it to absorb the water and flavors until it is soft (10-15 minutes).
Heat a pan with enough oil to lightly coat the bottom for a few minutes on medium-high heat until hot.
Add the onion to the pan and sauté until soft and translucent.
Add the textured soy protein and sauté for 3-5 minutes more until it begins to brown.
Mix together the corn flour and the vegetable broth and set aside.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, mix well to incorporate, and allow the gravy to come to a boil and thicken.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes more to allow the flavors to incorporate. You may need to add a few tablespoons of additional water here to prevent it from drying out too much.
Remove from the heat.

Preparing the pies
Turn your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and dust it with rice flour.
Separate the dough into 3 even pieces, roll into balls using your hands and set aside.
Place one piece of chilled dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick.
Using a small bowl (about 2½ inches in diameter) or something else of the size that would allow you to fill the bottom of the muffin tin, cut out rounds and gently press them into the muffin cups so that they are completely lined and there is a little bit of overhang. You should be able to cut 12 appropriately-sized rounds out of two of the three pieces of dough. Be prepared to roll out the dough several times to do this.
Fill each of the muffin tins with the filling right to the top of the pie.
Combine the remaining dough and roll out to ¼ inch thick. Using an appropriately-sized glass just big enough to cover the tops of the pies, cut out 12 rounds.
Place the rounds on top of the pies and gently press together the edges of the bottom and top crusts using your fingers first and then a fork.
With a fork, poke some holes in the top of each pie to allow the filling to breath and stop it from bursting out while baking.
If you like, brush some olive oil or butter on the top of each pie.
Place the muffin tin on the top shelf of your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the crust starts to lightly brown.
When done, remove from the oven and let the pies cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes.
You could add additional veggies to the filling or just leave the veggies out altogether (but keep the onion!)
These pies freeze really well, so if you’re not going to eat them all within 3 or so days, just pop them in the freezer.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Happy Australia Day!

Here are some vegan ideas for your Australia Day! Although living in the States now I try and celebrate where I can by making one or more of these items, streaming Triple J's Hottest 100 and plastering my family with Australian Flag temporary tattoos. Whatever Australia Day has in store for you I hope it's a good one. Miss my homeland so much!!!! :(

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


1 1/2 cups marinara
1 can coconut milk
1/2 bunch basil
Salt & pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth.
Heat over a medium heat and add seasoning as required.

Monday, 9 January 2017

I Quit Sugar Cleanse

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and NYE! As of January 1st I'm going on an 8 week sugar cleanse. I ate and drank a little bit too much over the festive season but honestly have kind of fallen off the healthy (ish) wagon since going to Australia in November. Before that I had been quite good with keeping healthy eating habit and regular exercise but like all routines, once you're out of them for a while they're gone :(
I'm determined to lose my post pregnancy weight (baby is 10 months old now so no excuses - plus I'm going to have to chase around a toddler soon) and get healthy in 2017! And I'm sick to death of wearing maternity clothes!! I'm usually not one for resolutions but this year I wanted to start fresh and try to quit sugar (and fit back into my regular clothes). My exercise goal is just 30 minutes of moving a day, usually a walk with the baby but yoga and pilates certainly counts!

I'm getting all my guidance from "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson. The idea is that it takes 8 weeks to cleanse yourself of sugar (fructose being the main culprit) and then after that you can introduce back in natural sugars such as fruit and brown rice syrup. As an adult I have to say I'm more a salt addict than a sugar one but I do realise now that I was consuming sugar in places that were hidden like sauces and "health foods". In the old days sugar was a treat and you would have only consumed less than 8 teaspoons of sugar a day which is still the recommendation today. Most people exceed this ten times just by the hidden sugar that lurks in everything under difference names and guises. Most of us don't even realise how much we are consuming, which is pretty scary when you think of the terrible health issues attributed to sugar consumption. I also found "That Sugar Film" a real wake up call too!

So my goal is to cleanse myself from sugar over the next 8 weeks and then start fresh by attempting to consume 8 teaspoons (or less, preferably none) of sugar daily. I'm hoping to even lose some weight as a side effect ;)

Starting Stats:

Start Date:1st January 2017
Weight: 152.6 lbs
Arms: 12"
Chest: 37.5"
Stomach: 37"
Hips: 42"
Thighs: 23.5"

Week 1

Did pretty well the first day! Didn't really miss sugar at all. Had natural peanut butter on toast for band black coffee for breakfast and then had homemade hummus and celery/fennel sticks for mid morning snack and then had a wonderful vegan New Year southern feast at my BFfs house and she made sure there was no sugar :)
Boiled collard greens, black eyed peas ain vegetable stock, cornbread and sweet potato.

Second day had grits for breakfast, kale pesto (from the book recipe) and GF pasta for lunch.
Felt like something sweet after dinner so I had a cup of chai rooibos tea.

Kale Pesto

I made roasted chickpeas for snacks. Garam Masala ones from the book recipe and ones from my previously used recipe.

Third day I had avocado on toast and black coffee for breakfast. Left over collard greens and corn bread for lunch. Dandelion pesto with celery/fennel for snack. Lentil soup for dinner.

The rest of the week I made recipes from the book such as...

Summer Quinoa Tabouleh

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Hash

Baked Polenta with Miyoko's Kitchen Sundried Tomato Nut Cheese, green onions, sage and thyme.

Pasta using dandelion or kale pesto (recipe from the book. Using the Parmesan cheese below...

Nut cheeses (sugar free!) with crackers is great for a dessert or a snack.
There is a recipe for homemade seed crackers in the book too.

This first week is more about cutting down sugar and substituting to get ready for the full quit in week 2-3 but I actually went the entire week completely sugar free with a cheat on the last day of a glass of red wine (which doesn't contain fructose so I should still be on the right track!).

Week 2

Doing pretty well so far, not craving sweets as much as I thought. Standard breakfast is toast with nut cheese, hommus or avocado and black coffee.

I made a few different recipes from the book, freezing some of the soup recipes,so I have plenty of variety in the fridge for lunches and dinners. I really loved the Cooling Avocado Soup, Foolproof Fennel Soup & Roasted Cauliflower Soup .I have the roasted chickpeas and hummus with veggies as snacks as well. I'm trying to drink lots of water but I also found mineral water and La Croix water to be helpful when you don't feel like water.

Cooling Avocado Soup

Week 3

Nearly at the end of week three and I'm down to 150lbs which is nice. I was starting to wonder if I'd lose anything!
Had virtually no sugar this week. a couple of things tripped me up just because I didn't realise the sugar content until it was too late but it wasn't more than 2 teaspoons total so I'm not too worried.

On the menu this week was Spiced Almonds, which were delicious and really great when you feel like something sweet.

The Fennel Soup was delicious!

I made the satay tempeh from the IQS website and had it with romaine leaves one night and rice another night. 

I made my stuffed acorn squash recipe but omitted the apple.

The broad beans and avocado on rice cakes ecipe was good, I used lima beans because I had them.
This was from the IQS website.

This Sweet Potato Soup was pretty good, I didn't have any red lentils so I omitted but wished I'd had them!

Herb Black Quinoa Muffins - from the IQS website (Although I used red quinoa...shhh)

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Vegan Products - December 2016

Sorry if there are some repeat items in here - sometimes I don't remember if I've tried something or not LOL. Also this might be my last post about vegan items for a while. I'm about to start a sugar cleanse and try to eat a lot less processed food.

Found these Carla Lee's Nut Tacos & Burgers at Wholefoods. They were pretty good, you can definitely tastes the nuts, it's a bit crunchy at times. I particularity liked the tacos because of the ease. I tried them both in the oven and microwave.

I've been looking for a powder stock that doesn't contain sugar, which seems to be hard to find! I found this Organic Gourmet Vegetable Bouillon stock cubes at Wholefoods. I haven't used them yet - they are for my sugar cleanse! 

New!!! I found this Follow Your Heart Parmesan shreds at Publix but saw that they had them at Wholefoods as well. They are so good!!! Already using them on everything lol
Was great for making pesto...

Found this Vanini dark chocolate at Fresh Market, I really liked the pear and cinnamon flavor.

I love Dr. Praeger's Kale Burgers and these California Veggie Burgers are pretty good too!

I've never tried the Sophie's Kitchen Smoked Salmon so when I saw it at Wholefoods I had to try it! Along with some vegan cream cheese and chives of course! Pretty good, not perfect but decent for sure! 

Nature's Gate Hemp Lotion was on sale at Wholefoods so I thought I'd try it. 

Hubby found these Sensible Portion "Pringle" style chips at Walmart and the sea salt and BBQ are vegan and GF!! They taste just like Pringles.
The Sea Salt was a bit too salty (and I LOVE salty) but the BBQ was perfect!

Found these Enjoy Life Plentils Margarita chips at Solomon's Ventures discount store so I thought I'd try them and they were pretty good. Tasted more like Garlic and Onion than Margarita though.

Found this All Natural Peanut Wonder Chocolate Spread at Solomon's Ventures discount store and saw it was vegan! It wasn't overly sweet and I wanted it to be sweet so I didn't really love it but if you don't like the overly sweet flavour you'll love it ;)

Found these Baby Mum-Mum teething crackers at Solomon's Ventures discount store for $1 so I thought I'd try them, especially since they didn't have sugar added, only fruit juice and I've been looking for something like that for my wee one! They are pretty good and baby likes them a lot. They melt quickly in the mouth too so haven't had any chocking problems.

I've tried Good Thin's crackers before but hadn't tried the rice cracker style. They were pretty good!

Hubby found me these Vega vegan GF protein bars I think at Walmart! I can't tell you how great they are! They taste like a chocolate candy bar but with only 200 calories! 

Lastly found these lovely vegan wines at Fresh Market! Both very nice and under $10!
Montes from Chile and Mezzacorona of Italy.

Xmas Lunch 2016

I hope everyone had a great Xmas 2016! Here's how my Xmas transpired...

Before Xmas the kids and I usually make cookies. We made Cinnamon Cookies but I ran out of GF flour so I used hazelnut meal which actually turned out pretty well!

Eggless Nog on Xmas Eve - of course!!

Preparing the Christmas Roast Vegetables (I did garlic rosemary potatoes, orange agave carrots and asparagus).

Preparing the Tofu Turkey!

After frying the Tofu Turkey pieces...

Tofu Turkey, Green Bean Casserole, Christmas Roast Vegetables, Golden Gravy and some vegan mash that my BFF brought :)

Delicious vegan wine I found for the occasion!

My first attempt at GF Apple Pie - turned out great. I ate most of it myself with some vegan vanilla ice-cream!

Vegan candy canes!