Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Top-Deck Chocolate Hearts with Handmade Origami Card

For a romantic occasion here is an idea for heart themed chocolates and card...

Top Deck Chocolate Hearts

Origami Heart Card

This gorgeous card idea I got from Eat Drink Chic blog. It was really easy to make, I only had one practice run.

The template for card and envelope are here. Instructions for the folding are here.

For the envelope I used an embossing paper used in card making which is thick and sheer and punched holes with a needle up the sides then threaded through a pink thread.

The card opens up so you can write a message. The ribbon I just attached by punching a hole on the back flap of the card.

My Kick-Arse New Boots

I just wanted to share these awesome faux leather boots I got from K-Mart on the weekend.
They are super comfortable and were $10!!!
It's so awesome being vegan!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Cruelty Free Festival Sydney

Sunday 30th October is the Cruelty Free Festival in Sydney at Belmore Park, Haymarket.

About the Festival

Find out how to save animals at the 2011 Sydney Cruelty Free Living Festival on Sunday 30th October. Come along for a fun-filled day of live entertainment and discover which companies test on animals, learn how to volunteer with an animal rescue group, sponsor a rescued moon-bear or baby orang-utan, try delicious vegan food, adopt a homeless cat or dog, join an animals rights group and much more.

Centrally located Belmore Park in Haymarket will be the setting for the Festival.

What is the Cruelty Free Festival?

The Cruelty Free Festival is a free, outdoor, community event that aims to bring animal cruelty and welfare issues to the public in a fun, festival environment.

This annual event is hosted by Animal Liberation NSW that aims to encourage people to make simple changes in their everyday lives to help save animals; changes such as buying products that haven’t been tested on animals, kinder dietary choices, fostering or adopting homeless animals, getting involved with and supporting animal rights, welfare, protection groups and charities.

We really value and depend on the support of sponsors and stallholders to bring this fabulous day to you each year!

The Cruelty Free Festival is now firmly established as an outdoor community event held in Sydney’s Belmore Park, next to Central Station. This park is highly visible and accessible with excellent public transport links close by. The festival comprises of live bands, musicians, singers, MC’s and other live performances all day, a workshop marquee for cooking demos, yoga, dance lessons, speakers and other fun activities. There’s a licensed bar, a food hall section, kids entertainment and over 60 stalls to create a vibrant, fun-filled festival atmosphere.

The Festival is first and foremost a public education event but also acts as a fundraiser for Animal Liberation NSW and the other animal rights, rescue and welfare groups who attend. Animal Liberation NSW is a not-for-profit charity group who campaign for the rights of all animals.

Festival Goals

• Public education and awareness about animal cruelty issues at a non-confrontational, fun, festival setting.
• To allow producers and retailers of cruelty free products, services and foods to promote their products to their target audience.
• To encourage people to change their lifestyle habits to reduce animal exploitation by purchasing products that have not been tested on animals and are accredited by Choose Cruelty Free (CCF).
• To demystify the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and allow people to see it as a viable, socially acceptable lifestyle choice that is better for their health, the environment and animals.
• To allow animal rights groups to reach the public with their educational material and to provide them with a fundraising opportunity.
• To use publicity generated by the festival to increase the general public’s awareness of, and prompt discussion about, animal rights issues and a vegan lifestyle.

Kimchee Soup

I got this recipe from She's Doing a Great Job blog. The recipe is here is you want the original.
I changed it slightly to make it gluten free. If you like Kimchee (pickled Chinese cabbage) you will love it. YUMMY! Kimchee can be found in an Asian grocery (check ingredients cause some use fish sauce) or you can make your own. The IQS website has a good recipe.

Kimchee Soup


Soup Base
1 Tbls fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbls red miso paste
3 Tbls Korean chili paste
4 Tbls Tamari
6 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1 cup water

1 onion, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
4 cups stock
3 cups water
1/2 block of firm tofu, sliced (fried if you prefer)
1 Tbls vegetable oil for frying
2 cup kimchi*, drained
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 small package rice noodles


In a small bowl, mix together soup base until well-incorporated. In a large stockpot (a seriously large one-this makes a lot of soup) add the soup base, along with stock and water.
Add tofu and vegetables (onion, garlic, green onion, mushrooms, and kimchee) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Next, add the rice noodles and simmer for an additional 5 minutes until noodles are cooked and ready to eat.
Remove soup from heat.
If you like it hot serve with garnish of green onion and crushed chillis.
A bowl of steamed rice makes a great addition, and a nice way to cool down between spoonfuls of soup.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Pumkpin & Spinach Risotto

I can't remember where I got this recipe from but I changed it a bit. Sorreeeey

Pumkpin & Spinach Risotto


1 cup aborio rice
1 onion diced
2 Tbls garlic, crushed
2 cups spinach of your choice (I used kale)
2 Tbls olive oil
salt & pepper for seasoning

For Pumpkin Puree (blended smooth);
1 cup cooked pumkpin
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup water
2 Tbls vege stock


In a large pot heat oil on medium-high and cook onion & garlic until soft.
Add rice and mix to coat in oil.
Fold in the pumpkin puree. Cook on a low-medium heat and add water as needed until risotto is cooked. Add spinach at the end and cook until wiltered.

Note: I used stock intead of water for the extra but it was a bit salty so better to use water and add salt or stock to taste afterwards.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Split Pea Soup

This recipe from The Vegan Table cookbook is also online at The Daily Green. I blended it because mine looked nothing like the picture. It wasn't pretty but it tasted like "Pea & Ham Soup". So good. I bought my Liquid Smoke online and it lasts for ages because you only use a small amount.

Split Pea Soup


2 cups (450 g) green split peas
6 to 7 cups (1410 to 1645 ml) water or vegetable stock
1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
2 creamy yellow potatoes (such as Yukon gold or fingerlings), diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste


Rinse split peas.
Place all ingredients except salt and pepper in a soup pot and bring to a simmer.
Cover loosely and cook until peas are tender, 1 hour or longer.
Check occasionally to make sure water has not completely evaporated. Heat should be low-medium.
The resulting soup should be thick and creamy, with the split peas quite broken down and mushy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.
For creamier soup, puree in a food processor or blender.
This is also a great soup for a slow cooker; add all ingredients, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Frittata

This recipe from Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit blog turned out more like an omlette scramble rather than frittata(probably because I used a softer tofu) but it was soooo yummy. It wasn't much for dinner though. I'd probably use it more for brunch or double the recipe for dinner.

Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Frittata


400g extra-firm tofu, drained
1 Tbls soy sauce
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 cup. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 stalks asparagus, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp turmeric
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup. fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces


Preheat oven to 200°C.
Using your fingers, crumble and squeeze tofu into a bowl until it resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in soy sauce and mustard. Add nutritional yeast and mix well.
In an oven-proof pan, saute onions in olive oil until soft about 2 minutes.
Add asparagus and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, and turmeric, saute for one minute.
Add lemon juice to deglaze pan and remove from heat.
Add tofu mixture and stir to blend. Fold in basil leaves.
Press mixture firmly into pan cook in oven for 20 minutes.
Optional - transfer to broiler to brown top, about 2 minutes.
Let frittata sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Broccoli and Caulifower Soup

This receipe came with our (obscenely high) electricty bill. Thanks Energy Australia! I veganised it and it was really good, and very quick (30mins).

Broccoli and Caulifower Soup


30g vegan butter
2 onions, chopped
2 Tbls plain flour
1 Litre vege stock
1/2 caulflower, chopped
1 broccoli head chopped
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 cup veg sour cream (I used Tofutti Cream Cheese)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish (optional)


In a large saucepan that has a lid heat the butter on medium-high and cook onion until soft.
Stir in flour and blend in for 1 min.
Add stock, seasonings and vegetables and bring to boil.
Cover and simmer on a low heat for 20mins.
Take off heat, allow to cool slightly then blend in blender or food processor till smooth.
Return to a low heat and add sour cream and any extra salt/pepper.
Serve with toast.

Breakfast Scramble

I love this variation of a recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. I keep a stash of the spice mix on the spice rack because we eat it so much. The original recipe is here on their website with a whole lot of other yummy vegan recipes.

Breakfast Scramble


400g extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (I use silken tofu, fresh it's like scrambled eggs, frozen and defrosted it's more like firm tofu)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
juice of 1/2 a lemon (I used lemon squeeze)
1 cup spinach (english, kale, chard etc).

Spice Blend

2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed with your fingers
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt


Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high.
Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened.
Add mushrooms, saute 5 minutes more.
Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more.
Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so.
If everything is sticking then add a little water to deglaze the pan.
Crumble in tofu and mix well. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Lower the heat a bit if you find that it is sticking.
Add nutritional yeast and mix it up.
In a pot boil some water and lightly blanch spinach (if I'm feeling super lazy I'll just pour boiling kettle water over in the the sink and let it sit for a minute).
Add lemon juice at the end and serve on top of spinach or mix spinach in and serve on toast.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes

The cupcake recipe is Nigella Lawson's and makes perfect cupcakes every time.

Vanilla Cupcakes


125g Caster Sugar
125g vegan butter (I use Nuttalex)
130g Self Raising Flour (or 125g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder)
2 egg replacers
2 Tbls Non-dairy Milk (I used rice milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 200C and line the tin with the muffin cases.
Put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel.
If you haven't got a processor; in a bowl cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg replacers one at a time with a little of the flour.
Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
It looks like there's not much mixture but they will rise so only fill each cupcake paper half way.

Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.

Tip: Starting with all the ingredients at room temperature will ensure light fluffy cupcakes :)

Butter Icing


225g vegan butter (I used Nuttalex)
350g icing sugar
1 Tbls non-dairy milk (optional)
Any food colouring (add one drop at a time as you don't need much)


In a large mixing bowl add the vegan butter (at room temperature) and sifted icing sugar and beat until mixed.

Add any food colouring you like and beat until mixed.

If too thick add the milk slowly. Either spread onto cupcake with a spoon or knife or pipe.

Tip: You don't need a piping bag. You can use baking paper rolled into a cone with the tip cut off.

RSPCA Cupcake Day

Today was RSPCA Cupcake Day. We raised $264. There was even a flag right outside my office!

I made Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Brownie Cookies, Gingersnap Cookies, Coconut & Cherry Muffins and Orange Almond Muffins.

Yes I baked all weekend but I really enjoyed it and it was for a good cause.

Plus there will be some left to make boyf smile :)

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Orange Almond Muffins

Orange Almond Muffins

225g GF plain flour
115g caster sugar
100ml milk
85g butter (I used Nuttalex)
55g almond meal (ground almonds)
40g brown sugar (optional, for sprinkling)
2 oranges (rind and juice)
2 egg replacers
1 Tbls baking powder
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 200˚C and prepare cookie tray or muffin tray with muffin wrappers.
In a large bowl sift flour and baking powder. Add salt, caster sugar and almond meal. Mix well.
In the centre of the dry mixture add egg replacers, 250ml orange juice (use mix to make up the measurement), orange rind, butter and extract. Mix well and spoon into muffin wrappers. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top and bake for 20-25mins until golden.

Coconut & Cherry Muffins

Coconut and Cherry Muffins

280g GF plain flour
250ml coconut cream
115g caster sugar
100g glacé cherries (chopped)
85g butter (I used Nuttelex)
40g desiccated coconut (plus a little extra for top)
1 Tbls baking powder
2 egg replacers
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 200˚C and place muffin wrappers on the baking tray (or muffin tray).
In a large bowl sift flour and baking powder then and mix together. Add glacé cherries and salt and mix well.
Add egg replacers, coconut milk, butter and vanilla extract and mix well.
Spoon mixture into muffin cases (around 2-3 Tbls each). Sprinkle some desiccated coconut over the top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden on top.

Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

350g GF self-raising flour
200g Caster Sugar
125g butter
75g golden syrup
1 tsp bicarb soda (baking soda)
1 Tbls ground ginger
1 egg replacer
1 tsp orange rind
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 160˚C. Have cookie tray ready with baking paper.
In a large bowl sift flour and bicarb soda and then add salt. Mix together.
In a small pot heat butter and golden syrup over a low heat. Once melted add to dry mixture. Add egg replacer and orange rind and mix until a dough forms.
Roll balls in your hand around the size of a golf ball or smaller and place on cookie tray well spaced (they rise and spread a lot).
Press down on them with your fingers.
Bake for 20mins.

Big Breakfast

We usually like to have a cooked breakfast on the weekends if we have time. It almost always includes garlic mushrooms.

My normal sized breakfast...

Boyf's "I want sausages too" Big Breakfast

Big Breakfast

2 cups mushrooms (chopped)
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbls Olive oil
Baked Beans (I used tinned)
2 cups Kale or English spinach
Vegan sausages (optional)
Toast (for serving)

In a small pot heat the baked beans on medium. (If cooking sausages start them first as you''ll need to turn four times).
In a frying pan heat oil on a medium - high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic.
When everything is almost ready heat heat some water in a pot and add spinach to blanch.
Serve with toast and your favourite sauces.

And this was a curious king parrot that came to visit while we were eating :)

Lazy Friday Dinner

I was feeling super lazy on Friday night so I used a few instant meals which I never do.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbls olive oil
1 packet instant Alfredo Style Cheese Sauce from the Cruelty Free Shop
1 packet GF pasta

Heat water for pasta.
Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium - high and fry mushrooms and garlic until cooked through.
Start to cook pasta.
In a separate small pot heat the cheese sauce with water as instructed. Once mixed add in mushrooms and garlic.
Add mix to pasta when ready.

Instant Chocolate Mint Mousse

1 packet of Organ Instant Chocolate Mousse
Peppermint essence
Chocolate sprinkles (optional) - I used Lieber Chocolate Sprinkles from the Cruelty Free Shop

Add water to mousse mix and beat as per instructions.
Stir in 2 drops of peppermint essence.
Serve with chocolate sprinkles

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Breakfast Berry Smoothie

I have a smoothie every weekday morning for breakfast because it's quick, healthy and filling. I walk to work so I don't want anything too heavy. And this way I can sneak some healthy stuff in too :)

Breakfast Berry Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup frozen berries (I used mix berries) - you can use fresh but frozen gives the thicker texture.
1 cup rice milk

Optional extras;
1 Tbls flaxseed oil (for omega 3)
1 tsp Maca powder (for energy)
1 tsp Agave syrup (for sweetness)
1 cup spinach (I usually use kale or chard)

Blend in high speed blender (I use Cuisinart) or a food processor. YUM

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Simple Ratatouille

This is a very simple ratatouille recipe which takes about 30mins. You can add any extra vegetables or tofu that you like.

Simple Ratatouille
2 Tbls olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, chopped into think chunks
4-6 zucchinis, sliced thickly
1 400g tin crushed tomatoes (or 4 fresh chopped)
1 Tbls dried Basil (or fresh)
1 Tbls dried Parsley (or fresh)
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup olives (optional)

In a heavy based pot or saucepan (with a lid) heat oil on medium heat.
When ready add onion and saute until clear, then add garlic for 1 minute.
Add zucchini & eggplant and mix well. Add tomatoes & herbs and mix well.
Add lid and simmer on low heat for 20mins.
Stir through salt and pepper and check if eggplant is soft and cooked through.
If not simmer for a further 10mins. Add olives just before serving up.
Serve with rice.

Monday, 8 August 2011


I've finally got a copy of Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero which I had heard so much about. I already own Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World & Vegan With A Vengenace (which I use all the time) and am also awaiting my copy of Appetite for Reduction.

These are pictures of some of the recipes from Veganonicon I tried so far and I will keep adding.

Cheaters Baked Beans with Smokey Grilled Tempeh
(Boyf much prefered this Tempeh Bacon to the previous one I had inflicted on him)

Leek & Bean Cassoulet
This recipe is supposed to include a bread "biscuit" layer on top before it goes into the oven but we just crumbled toast into it. It tasted yummy, hearty and healthy! (sorry about the side photo - thanks again Blogspot!)

Grilled Tortillas - Sweet Potato & Black Bean
These were really yummy. I added vegan cheese to the mix as well. It's nice served with relish, salsa or chutney. I used Mission White Corn Tortillas which are gluten free.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Vegan Yum Cha at Bodhi

On Sunday we went to see HP with some friends and afterwards one of them (who isn't vegan) suggested yum cha at Bodhi on the Park because they'd heard it was good. It was definitely worth the drive over the bridge!

It was a little more expensive than Green Gourmet yum cha where we normally go but the food was wonderful. Our non-vegan friends loved it. Even being gluten free there were loads of options (even for dessert) and they even made me gluten free spinach Gow Gee especially which I thought was very sweet of them and yummy.

It cost us about $30 each for 4 of us but we ate A LOT of food. So maybe it wasn't more expensive, maybe we just bought a lot more than usual...

We probably had over 10 savouries and I think 4 desserts. The atmosphere was lovely too, being outside looking over the park. Definitely will be going back there!

Sorry I didn't take any pictures but here's one from their website.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies with White Choc Chips

I got home on Friday night after dinner out and really felt like dessert. I don't keep nice things in the house because I have no willpower. Maybe because I was home alone or maybe it was the Jane Austen movie I was watching and their incessant talk of tea and cakes, I'm not sure.  I decided to make my Chocolate Brownie Cookies because they are quick and I always have all the ingredients in the house. Not "always" as the case was. I was missing quite a lot of ingredients so I ended up with a new cookie. I'm not sure why the blog insists on turning the photo on the side and not giving you any edit options but anyway, here you are, side cookies.

Chocolate Walnut Cookies with White Choc Chips

Ingredients125g Coconut Oil
175g Sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
60g Millet flour
65g Buckwheat flour
35g Cocoa
1 Egg replacer
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 Bicarb Soda
200g vegan white chocolate chips
1 cup Chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Beat coconut oil and sugar together with electric beaters (or by hand if you're keen) until creamy.
Add in egg replacer and vanilla and beat until mixed.
Sift in remaining dry ingredients (except white chocolate & walnuts) and beat until mixed.
Prepare a baking tray (or 2) with baking paper.
With damp hands (have a bowl or sink or water ready because your hands needs to stay damp) take around a golf ball size of mixture and roll into a ball and add to tray. Repeat until mixture is finished. Make sure they are well spaced because they will drop when they cook and stick together.
Bake for 10-12 minutes for soft in the middle cookies. If you like hard cookies bake longer.
Allow to cool before transferring to plate or they will fall apart.

I usually eat my cookies straight away (and burn my mouth) because I love them being soft in the middle and I thought with these that the white chocolate chips would be melty that way but it was opposite. They were better as cold cookies (room temperature). The white chocolate chips were meltier cold, crazy but true!

Korean Night Out

Don't you love when your friends ask you to go out for dinner and you spend time researching what you can eat there and then you turn up and they've decided to go somewhere else? Well this is what happened on Friday night. We ended up in a back alley heading to the hidden Korean BBQ Mecca in Sydney CBD.

We went to O Bal Tan and although there was nothing (and I mean nothing) vegetarian on the menu they were very nice and said they could make any dish vegetarian. So I went for the vegetable hot pot which normally has beef and egg also.

They bring you lots of side dishes for free which I thought was pretty cool and I was really enjoying my veg hot pot until I got near the end when tragedy struck. I found little bits of beef mince in amongst the rice. I was a little disgusted thinking about whether I had ingested any already. The manager came to the table though and was very apologetic. She said they had been very busy and she gave me the dish for free and were more than willing to make me a new one as well.

I'm hoping that the beef I found was all there was, like it was premade and they just scooped it out but missed a couple. It turned me off the place a little but the "unsuspecting" food I had before the incident was really good, the service was fast (you press a buzzer when you want them, awesome!), the atmosphere was good and it was all very cheap - $13 each meal including all the side dishes.

All in all it was a good night and even with "the incident" I think I'd still go back. Hmmm Kimchi...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Black Pepper Tofu with Coconut Rice

This was sooo good. Took about 30 minutes. I added greens to the original recipe which can be found on Easy As Vegan Pie. If you find this too salty you can replace half of the soy sauce with water.


800gm firm tofu, drained and cubed 2cm
2 tbsp of oil
12 small shallots, sliced thickly (I didn't have any so I used one yellow onion, sliced)
8 fresh red chillis
12 garlic cloves
3 tbsp fresh ginger
8 Tbls Tamari (Original recipe asks for 3Tbls Sweet soy, 3Tbls light soy and 3Tbls dark soy)
2 tbsp caster sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
2 tsp black pepper, bashed in a mortar and pestle
16 spring onions, thinly sliced
(I added greens 1 min before serving)

Pan fry the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger on medium high until the shallots start to brown. Add tofu to the pan and fry with the veg until it starts to brown a little.

Add all the soy sauces, sugar and pepper and cook on high until it starts to simmer and thicken up a bit. Then add the spring onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Serve over coconut rice.

Coconut Rice

2 cups Thai jasmine-scented white rice
2 cups good-quality coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
2 heaping Tbsp. dry shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coconut oil, OR vegetable oil
1 kaffir lime leaf (I didn't have this)
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. toasted coconut for garnish, also I've heard a little bit of fresh lemongrass is magic as well.

Throw all the ingredients in a rice cooker, set to your manufacturers settings.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Family Gathering

My gorgeous brother was visiting from London and we had the whole family clan over at our place. Generally we told people to bring a plate of something but I think what I made would have fed everyone (17ppl). Sorry I forget to take pictures sometimes.

My dad brought a bottle of red and white wine that he found especially for us. He said he new it was vegan because it didn't mention egg/fish/dairy processing on the back. Aw, I've taught him well!


Black Olive Tapenade

Roast Capsicum Hummus


Finger Food;

Faux Meat Sausage Rolls

Risotto Balls with salsa

Cucumber (peeled and sliced longways)
Avocado (sliced)
Teriyaki tofu strips


Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Slice

Fruit Platter

Sliced rock melon, honey dew melon, watermelon, kiwi fruit and strawberries.

Potato Bake

Last night I was all set to make a very nutritious pumpkin soup when Boyf said "but I had soup for lunch". So I rummaged through the crisper and decided to make a potato bake. I was kind of kind winging it but it turned out well. So well infact we ate it all in one sitting...that's a kilo of potatoes.

1kg Potatoes
1 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbls rosemary, chopped
1 Tbls Thyme, dried
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup Vegan smoked cheddar (grated)
Cheese sauce (recipe below)

Preheat over to 200°C.
Cook potato until soft enough to cut through (but not falling apart).
Wait till potato is cool enough to handle then cut slices.
In a casserole dish layer ingredients until all used up. About 2-3 layers.
Pour over the melted cheese sauce.
Put in oven (covered) for 30 minutes.
Uncovered for 15-20 (keep checking).

Cheese Sauce
1 cup macadamias (ground)
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbls salt flakes
1 Tbls Onion Powder
1 Tbls Garlic Powder
2 1/2 Tbls Arrowroot Powder (or corn flour)
2 cups water (I found this a bit liquidy so will add less next time)

Add all dry ingredients together till all the same colour. Add water and put on stove over a medium to high heat until thickened.

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread


Bread - whatever kind & shape you like
Mixed herbs
Garlic - crushed
Nuttelex (or any vegan margarine)


Mix together any combination you like of butter, mixed herbs and garlic.
Toast bread.
Spread mixture onto bread, cover with foil and bake for 5-10mins at 180°C.

Broccoli and Walnut Pasta

Last night I tried a recipe from Vegetarian Life magazine (R.I.P) and it was pretty good. I basically had all the ingredients in my house which was awesome!

Head of broccoli - wash and cut into florets
2 Cloves Garlic (I'm a lazy bitch and use bought crushed garlic)
1 piece of bread - blitzed into breadcrumbs
50g Walnuts - chopped
2 Tbls Olive Oil (for frying)
1 Tbls Olive Oil (for tossing at the end)
1 lemon (juice and rind)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Packet of pasta of your choice (I use GF which is 250g)

Put pasta on. Add broccoli to the pasta water 2 minutes before pasta ends.
In a pan fry the breadcrumbs and walnuts with olive oil.
Once browned a litte add garlic and lemon rind.
Once pasta is done, drain well. Toss through olive oil and add fried mixture & parsley. Pour over lemon juice.

I served with the dry mixture for the melty cheese and it was yummy!

Thai Yellow/Red Curry with Pumpkin and Tofu

Thai Yellow/Red Curry with Pumpkin and Tofu
Adapted from a Nigella Lawon recipe
Serves: serves 4-6


400ml tin coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons yellow (or red) Thai curry paste (most use shrimp paste but some brands don’t – I use Ayam brand)
350ml (vegan) fish stock or veg stock
3 tablespoons (vegan) fish sauce (you can substitute with Bragg's liquid aminos or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
3 lemongrass stalks, each cut into three and bruised with the flat of a knife (I never add this)
3 lime leaves, de-stalked and cut into strips (I never add this either!)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1kg pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled and cut into large-bite-sized chunks
Pak choi/bok choy or any other green vegetables of your choice  (any asian veg + frozen soy/broad beans will do)
Juice of 1/2-1 lime, to taste (I just use the lime squeeze)
Coriander, to serve


Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste.
Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin.
Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
Add Tofu and any frozen veg. Add fresh stuff last. When the pak choi's wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.
Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

Green Curry in a Hurry

This is definately a staple for us, at least once a week with whatever we have lying around. It's so quick and delicious! Adapted from a Nigella Lawon recipe.

Green Curry in a Hurry

Wok Oil (Seaseme Oil, Veg Oil with ginger and garlic)
2 Spring Onions – chopped
2 Tbls Green Curry Paste
1 pk Puffy Tofu (from Chinese grocery store)
1 can Coconut Milk
1 Tbls (Vegan) Fish Sauce
1 Cup Veg Stock
200g Frozen Soya Beans
200g Frozen Peas
200g Beans
Bunch Coriander

Fry oil, spring onions, green curry paste. When done add coconut milk, fish sauce and stock and simmer.
Add frozen vegetables & tofu  (if you have snow peas or something add at very end or they lose their crunch). Take off heat and add coriander.
Serve with rice and lime.


I often don't use vegan cheese at all and just use the white sauce between layers - still delicious!

Makes 4 decent serves


1 cup TVP or vegan ground beef
1 400g can  chopped Tomatoes
1 100g jar Tomato Paste
1 brown onion chopped
2 cloves Garlic
Basil (or whatever herbs you like)
2 Tbls dried Italian herbs
1 tsp vegan sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegan cheese shredded (I use mozzarella and cheddar) reserving some for the top.
Vegan white sauce
Oil for frying
Lasagne Slats

Feel add anything into the TVP mixture such as olives, mushroom as you normally would pasta sauce.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius Get your TVP ready by adding 1 cup or stock to 1 cup of TVP in a bowl. Put a tea towel over the bowl and let sit for 10mins till TVP has soaked up the water.
In a pan heat oil and fry onion and garlic until brown. Add TVP, canned tomatoes, tomato paste mixed herbs and any fresh herbs you are using. Once heated through take off heat.
Place your lasagne slats in some tepid water to soften.
Lightly grease your baking tin and add one layer of TVP mixture followed by a layer of shredded cheese and then lasagne slats. Repeat this porcess until you are at the top. Pour a final layer of TVP mixture over the top lasagne slat followed by the cream cheese and then some shredded cheese.
Put in oven for 30 minutes or until cheese on top has browned.