Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup

I wanted to replicate this awesome pumpkin tom yum I had in a restaurant and this wasn't it but it was still very delicious. It made at least four main serves. Original recipe from Darlene Schmidt at About.com.




Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup


Ingredients

8 cups vegetable stock
1 can thick coconut milk
8 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass (I didn't have any of this)
6 kaffir lime leaves, left whole (I didn't have any of this)
1/2 Butternut pumpkin peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
4 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes (I used fried puffy tofu)
2 shallot, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
4 tsp. Thai chili sauce (sambol olak)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. regular chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
8 Tbsp. soy sauce, to taste (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
3 tsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
4 generous handfuls baby spinach, washed
1 cup fresh basil + 1 cup fresh coriander for toppings (optional)




Method 

Place stock in a pot over high heat.
Now add the lemongrass (include the leftover stalk pieces if using fresh lemongrass), plus the kaffir lime leaves, shallot, garlic, galangal or ginger, and chili. Bring to a boil.
Add the pumpkin and sweet potato. Reduce heat slightly and gently boil for 6-7 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, add the spices/flavorings, stirring with each addition: turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice.
When pumpkin and sweet potato are soft enough to eat, reduce heat to low.
Now stir in the coconut milk.
Add more lime juice if it happens to be too salty or sweet. If it's too sour for your liking, add a little more sugar; also adjust the spice level by adding more chili or chili sauce. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
Just before serving, add the soft tofu and spinach and gently stir it into the soup (the spinach will wilt instantly and the soft tofu will heat up in seconds).
Portion out into bowls and top with the fresh basil and coriander.
It's a medium spice factor. For more spice, serve with chili flakes.

Note that this soup can be served as is, or with rice or noodles.
Other Vegetables: Other veggies that can be added to this soup include: carrots, chopped red or green bell pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, and bok choy.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Quinoa and Vegetables with Lime and Almond Butter Dressing

I got this recipe from Stuff About Stuff blog, thanks Sarah! The sauce was so yummy. It's a very easy meal that's so versatile depending on what you have in the house. This made around 3 meals.




Quinoa with Vegetables
Ingredients

Veggies of your choice (I used spring onion, red capsicum, english spinach, carrots & can of balck beans)
750ml Liquid vegetable stock or water with stock cube
1 tbls Sesame oil
Cashews, handful
Pepita and sunflower seeds, handful
1 cup Quinoa
1 Tbls oil for frying


Method

Rinse the quinoa well
Bring stock to boil and add quinoa, turning down to medium and stiring until absorbed all the liquid.
When quinoa is cooked it has little shoots, so you may need to add more water/stock if not cooked.
I added the carrot to the quinoa mixture to cook.
Meanwhile make the dressing (recipe below).
Heat a frying pan with some oil on a medium-high heat and sauté the vegetables.
I added the spring onion and cashews first then the others afterwards.
Once quinoa is cooked in a large bowl mix together the vegetables and quinoa and toss through dressing and seaseme oil.


Lime and almond butter dressing

Ingredients

Juice from 1 fresh lime
1/4 cup Almond butter
1 Tbls Sesame oil
1-2 Tbls  Maple syrup


Method

Whisk all ingredients together.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Pacifica Perfume

My friend at work just went overseas and bought me some Pacifica Perfume! Most of the Pacifica range available you can buy in Oz through Scentiments. The difference in price is really not that bad (around $33 in Oz and $22 in USA). Have a look at my other perfume blog for reviews of some of the other scents.

If you've never heard of Pacifica, it's a US brand of vegan perfumes and bath products that relate to each scent. There are sooo many to choose from. If you're ever in the States I recommend you go to the nearest mall, walk into Sephora and pick some up!

I'm obsessed with coconut. After falling in love with D&G Sicily I've been on a mission to find a vegan alternative. I'm not there just yet but these two new scents were so yummy. My only criticism is that they don't seem to last very long, which is not a problem I had with the other Pacifica fragrances.


Indian Coconut Nectar

I was dying to get my hands on this one (it's only just coming out in Oz next month).
It is really nice but doesn't last very long :(



Island Vanilla

This was quite lovely. Vanilla is usually very overpowering but this was very subtle. Again though it didn't last very long :(

Sweet Anthem Perfume

I discovered this great ranged of oil perfumes on Etsy. Meredith Smith uses the family perfumery business to create a range of vegan perfumes through her company Sweet Anthem. I love that they all are named after girl's names for the female fragrances and boy's names for the male fragrances! What a great present (from me to me). Each one has a full list of the fragrances used and she is amazing at getting back to you if you have any questions. Seriously I must have annoyed the crap out of her with all my lame questions! One of the few US companies that will ship perfume here and the scent lasts a long time too which I don't normally find with oil based perfumes.
You can buy testers to try which one you like.
Here's an example of what the smaller and large bottles look like;




Here's the samples I bought which I love. Anita smelt like Baileys yuuum! I think I like Emily the best, sweet and vanillary!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Indian Butter Vegetables

This is butter chicken sauce with vegetables. YUUUUM! Of course you can add fake chicken or tofu if you like. This was easily four meals for us, served with basmati rice and papadums. Original recipe from VegWeb.



Indian Butter Vegetables


Ingredients


3 tablespoons of vegan butter (I used Nuttelex)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 small cloves of crushed garlic
2 tsp ginger, minced or 1 tsp ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala***
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup tahini
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
1/2 cup water
1/4 pumpkin, skinned and chopped into 4cm pieces
4 potatoes, chopped into 4cm pieces
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup peas


Method

In a large saucepan boil some water and add vegetables until soft but holding their shape. Alternatively you can baked them.
Heat a large saucepan or frying pan on a medium heat and melt the vegan butter.
Add the onions and the cinnamon to the pan and fry lightly.
When the onions are soft stir in the crushed garlic.
Then add the ginger, garam masala, turmeric, chili and coriander, and sauté over a medium heat.
Mix in the tahini and tomato paste.
Add tomatoes, peas and 1/2 cup water.
Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (you may need to add a little water).
Once thickened add the vegan sour cream and mix well.
Add drained vegetables and stir through.
Serve on brown basmati rice.


*** If you can't find Garam Masala here is a simple recipe;

4Tbls ground coriander seeds
1 Tbls ground cumin
1 Tbls ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp black cumin seeds, ground
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp black cardamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp crushed bay leaves

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Lentil "Meat" Loaf

I got this recipe from My Vegan Cookbook. It was delicious!!! Lots of ingredients but not hard work. We had a enough for dinner and then for sandwiches the next two days. I served it with homemade sun-dried tomato ketchup from Ani Phyo's Raw Kitchen.



Lentil Loaf

Tomato Topping Mixture

1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Onion Flakes
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt

Lentil Loaf

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (I used GF oats)
1/2 Block Extra Firm Tofu
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Tomato Topping Mixture
3 Tablespoons Plain Polenta
3/4 Cup Cooked & Drained Lentils (I used red)
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce (I used Tamari)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Mustard


Method

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Mix the tomato topping mixture together first because you will need a tablespoon to mix into the lentil loaf. The rest will be set aside to coat the loaf when completed.
Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a skillet on medium heat, add chopped onions, red and green bell pepper and let cook until onions are transparent (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. 
In a food processor chop oats for 5 quick pulses.
Drain tofu well and press with hands until all excess water comes out. In a mixing bowl mash tofu with a fork or use grater to coarsely grate.
In the same mixing bowl combine, cooked onions and peppers, 1 tablespoon of tomato mixture, oats, corn meal, lentils, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, thyme, cumin, chili powder, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic and onion salt, dried mustard and mix until well combined.
Spray a large sheet of tin foil with cooking spray to form loaf on, place on cookie sheet.
On top and in the middle of tin foil form loaf mixture into loaf that is 2 1/2 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches square.
Coat top and sides with tomato mixture (you will probably have some left over to spoon on later).
Cook loaf for 20 minutes, then cover with tin foil and cook for another 10 minutes.
After cooking let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.


Apple Pockets

I got this recipe from My Vegan Cookbook blog. They were so delicious and much easier than I expect apple pie to be. I had to substitute some things to make it gluten free but the original recipe is here.



Apple Pockets

Filling Ingredients

4 Medium Gala or Granny Smith Apples, Peeled & Sliced 1/4 Inch Thick
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Flour

Crust Ingredients

1/2 Cup Rice Milk
1 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 1/3 Cups Plain GF Flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
1 Teaspoon Molasses
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

Glaze Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Rice Milk


Method

In a microwavable glass bowl mix in all filling ingredients cover. Place bowl in microwave and cook 8 to 9 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
For the pastry dough start with mixing together the rice milk and vinegar and set aside. In a mixing bowl add flour, corn starch, salt, baking soda and powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix together. Then add molasses and oil and mix together with the rice and vinegar mixture, kneading it into a ball. Dump out onto a floured surface and roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6 inch cereal bowl to trace around, cut out the pockets with a paring knife.
Spray heavy cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Lay dough circles onto cookie sheet, fill with 1/4 cup of apple filling, fold over and crimp edges with a fork. Poke pockets with a fork on the top three times to allow steam escape while cooking. Spray tops lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool for 30 minutes before glazing.
 Mix together glaze ingredients in a bowl large enough so that the pockets will go down into it. Take pockets off cookie sheet and place a wire cookie rack into it. Carefully dip pockets into glaze, covering both sides and place on the wire cookie rack to drip.


Hash Browns

This is a simple homemade hash brown recipe I made up. It's great for hangovers when you can't be bothered to high tail it to the nearest fast food outlet.




Hash Browns

Ingredients

4 large potatoes, grated (I like with skins but up to preference)
1-2 egg replacers
1-2 Tbls soy milk
oil for frying


Method

In a large pan heat your oil, more if you want to deep fry, less if you want to shallow fry.
While it's heating take your grated potatoes to the sink and squeeze out all the extra liquid.
Add them to a large bowl with the egg replacers and milk and mix together.
If too liquidy just drain into sink.
If not binding try another egg replacer or Xanthum gum or corn flour.
Take a ball of the potato mix and place in the hot oil, flattening with a spatula.
Once brown on one side flip over to the other side.
Place finished hash browns on some paper towel.
We served it with salt and tomato sauce.

Monday, 10 October 2011

1,000 Vegan Recipes

Here are some recipse from Robin Robertson's book 1,000 Vegan Recipes.


Corn Fritters
These were easy but I found them a bit bland so might add something extra next time.



Spicy Indian Cauliflower

It was so quick and simple but had a lot of flavour.



Kasha (Buckwheat Groats) with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Peas

YUMMY




Three-Bean Cassoulet

This was a really warm hearty dish



Sunday, 9 October 2011

Eggplant Lasagne

I got this recipe from Fat Free Vegan. I recommend grilling or roasting the eggplant first because cooking it took much longer than the original recipe said.



Eggplant Lasagne


Ingredients

1 eggplant
salt for sprinkling on eggplant
250g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (or fresh)
350g firm tofu
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1  tsp oregano
1 cloves garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp. salt (eliminate if following a salt-free diet)
dash cayenne pepper
1 500g jar of spaghetti sauce (or your favorite homemade sauce)


Method

Cut each eggplant lengthwise into very thin, even, 1/2cm slices.
Sprinkle each slice with salt and place it in a colander to drain for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, rinse each slice briefly and press with a paper towel to remove all the moisture.
While the eggplant is draining, preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the tofu and thawed spinach in the food processor and remaining ingredients–except the eggplant and sauce–to the processor and blend until smooth.
Spread a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a oven pan (spraying the pan first with non-stick spray will help prevent sticking).
Place a layer of eggplant over the sauce, covering the entire bottom of the pan.
Spread half of the tofu mixture on the eggplant.
Cover with another layer of  eggplant and then spread the remaining tofu mixture over it.
Top with a final layer of eggplant, and pour the remaining sauce over this.
Cover with foil and bake for  30 minutes; remove the foil and bake for 10-20 more minutes, until eggplant is tender.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

NOTE:  The thinner your eggplant slices, the less time your lasagna will need to bake. Consider pre-cooking it in a non-stick skillet or on a baking sheet in the oven until lightly browned.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Vegan Soap Making

With the cost of vegan soap I thought I'd try my hand at it. It wasn't difficult, just fiddly and time consuming. The process took about 2-3 hours including times you just have to wait around for things to happen. If you're making it for presents you need to make it at least 2 weeks in advance.
I got these instructions from The Ponte Vedra Soap Shoppe. It's a US site so the measurements are in ounces and the temperature in Fahrenheit but most scales & thermometers have both.
It cost around $50-60 but I filled two silicone cake tins (of which I got 24 slabs), 1 tray of shapes and 12 silicone muffin cases. So easily a few years supply of soap plus gifts. I got these boxes from Essential Oils and Soaps, they have a great range of soap making supplies. My good friend Jo also sent me this link to different soap making methods at Green Organics.
I'm now selling the good soaps on Etsy with my jewellery!
I made a Soap Making Tutorial video here.



Vegan Soap

Ingredients

24oz olive oil
24oz coconut oil
38oz vegetable shortening/oil
12oz lye (I bought this online from Essential Oils of Australia but I also saw it at Franklins under "caustic soda")
32oz distilled water
3-4oz essential oil

Tools (preferably ones solely for soap making);

Scales that weigh ounces
2 large stainless steel pots/bowls
3 large plastic jugs (enough to hold each oil)
2 wooden kitchen spoons (not to be used again for cooking)
2 kitchen thermometers
Rubber gloves (used solely for soap making)
Safety goggles (I used a snorkel mask because my goggles kept fogging up)
Soap mold of choice (silicone is easier but if using wood make sure you line* the bottom)
Cardboard the size of the top of the mold
Freezer paper/plastic
Towel, preferably an old one you don't mind getting dirty



Method

Put on your gloves and goggles (an apron will help too).
Weigh the oils out into the jugs.
Weigh essential oils in a bowl.
Weigh lye into one of the stainless steel bowls.
Weight water and slowly add to lye gently stirring with wooden spoon until all mixed.
Place thermometer in the mixture, it will heat up to around 200˚F.
Wait until the temperature goes down to 100-125˚F.
In the other stainless steel bowl mix in all the oils except the essential oils (the coconut oil and shortening may need to be melted in the microwave).
Place a thermometer in the oil mixture and wait until it reaches 100-125˚F.
Personally I found it easier to heat some of the oil in the microwave or on the stove before adding the water to the lye and then they seem to reach the same temperature quickly. If you're using half this recipe the lye will cool much quicker.
Once both mixtures are the same temperature slowly pure the lye into the oil mixture constantly stirring gently. Be careful of splashback as lye is an acid. I've since found that using a hand mixer on low works more effectively (and is less time consuming) that stirring by hand. I just picked one up from a thrift store.


Once you see "trace" (tracks in the soap) you can add the essential oils and colour if using. My colour didn't mix in well and just went speckly. They suggest if you're adding colour to take out a cup of the soap mixture, mix in your colour well and then return to the rest of the soap and mix in.
When you start to see patterns in the soap (around 10-20mins) you can transfer to molds.
Once poured into molds cover with freezer paper and cardboard and cover with a towel and leave undisturbed for 18hours.


After 18 hours you can remove the towel and cardboard and leave for another few hours.
Then you should have a hard enough soap that you can remove from mold.
If you are cutting your soap into pieces this is that stage for it.
These are my patchouli/sandalwood ones;



Keep soap in open box or drying rack - not touching each other - for 2 weeks minimum.
The longer you leave your soap the harder and milder it will be.
My soap was a bit yellow but I think that's because of the dark olive oil I used.

*Lining the mold;
To line a wooden mold cut a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the bottom and cover it with freezer paper/plastic. Then place a large piece of freezer paper on the bottom of the mold and place the covered cardboard on top, this way you can just lift out the soap.


After two weeks...

You can see the soap has turned a much nicer cream colour!


Please see my other post for adding colour (and it actually working, I hope)

Black Olive Tapenade







Black Olive Tapenade

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata (double check each one, your food processor blade with thank you)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Method

In a food processor combine the olives, capers, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the oil and pulse into a corse paste, retaining some bits of olive and caper for texture. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Makes about 2 cups. If you have some left over mix with vegan cream cheese for an yummy spread/dip.

Refried Bean Dip





Refried Bean Dip


Ingredients

1-2Tbls taco seasoning
1 can refried beans (I get the one with chili)
1/2 jar salsa
2 Tbls vegan sour cream (optional)


Method

Heat ingredients in a saucepan on a medium heat until mixed together and heated through. Add to bowl for serving.

Taco "Mince"





Taco "Mince"


Ingredients

1 Tbls oil
1-2Tbls taco seasoning
1 onion, chopped
2 cups (cooked) TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 tsp vegetable stock


Method

If using dried TVP, mix 1 cup TVP with 1 cup boiling water and 1 tsp of vegetable stock for taste in a bowl.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to steam for 5 -10 minutes.
On a medium - high temperature, heat oil and fry onion until clear.
Add TVP to frying pan with taco seasoning.
Once browned and heated through add to a bowl for serving.

Mexican Corn Dip

I had some fresh corn I wanted to get rid of so I found this recipe online. I cut the corn kernals off and boiled them first. The recipe asks for canned corn. It was delicious!



Mexican Corn Dip


Ingredients

1 tub Tofutti cream cheese
1 tin - corn kernals, drained
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 tsp Garlic powder
10 jalapenoes - chopped


Method

In a small sauce pan mix all ingredients on a medium heat until butter and cream cheese has melted. mix well and serve with corn chips.

Guacamole

This is a very simple guacamole recipe that is always a winner and is always stuff I have in the house.


Guacamole


Ingredients

Must haves;
3-4 ripe Avocadoes
1-2Tbls Lemon or lime juice
Salt & pepper for seasoning

Optional extras;
1/2 jar Salsa
1-2Tbls Soy sour cream (optional)
some taco seasoning (optional)
1/4 cup Fresh Coriander/cilantro - chopped (optional)
1/4 Red onion (chopped)


Method

Mash avocado together with a fork or potato masher.
Stir in other ingredients, add more to taste.
Serve with corn chips.

Strawberry Jam (using jam setting sugar)

I saw some strawberries on special and we needed strawberry jam so I thought I'd try to make some. It was very easy and much less time consuming than the marmalade. This recipe made enough for 6 medium jars.
                                     I got these labels from Autumn Leah Designs.



I got these labels from Blue Sugar Press



Strawberry Jam (using jam setting sugar)

Ingredients

1kg strawberries, washed and chopped
1kg jam sugar (I used CSR Jam Sugar)
1/2 cup lemon juice


Method

Sterilise your jam jars and lids by placing on a tray in a 120˚C oven for 10-20mins.
Add all ingredients to a large pot and stir on a low heat until sugar has melted.
Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to boil.
Turn down to low- medium and simmer for 10-15mins.
Do the crinkle test by pouring a spoonful onto a saucer and placing in fridge or freezer until cooled and then touching with your fingers. If it crinkles then the jam is set, if it is still liquid then allow jam to boil again for another 10 minutes.
Take jam off the heat and allow to cool slightly before dispensing into sterilised jars.
Wait for jam to be cool down to warm before sealing.






Faux Meat Sausage Rolls

No one will know these aren't the real deal. This recipe made 14 large rolls or 42 mini rolls.




Faux Meat Sausage Rolls


Ingredients

1 packet vegan GF puff pastry (Borgs is vegan if you're not using GF)
2 packets of your favourite vegan sausages (I used Sanitarium BBQ Sausages) or any vegan mix you like.
Seaseme seeds (optional)
2 pieces of bread (if you want to increase the amount of filling)


Method

Preheat over to 200°C.
Make sure puff pastry is defrosted naturally or else you'll get soggy pastry.
Puree your sausages in the food processor (and bread if adding).
Using one sheet of pastry at a time, face it down on your work space (I use a huge chopping board), so that the plastic is on the top. Then peel back the plastic.
At the edge closest you add your sausage mince around 2 inches in.
How much you add is up to how thick you want the sausage rolls.
At the edge closet you fold over the mince and keep folding firmly until you have a roll.
Seal the ends and edge with your fingers.
Chop into desired size pieces and place on a baking tray (use baking paper because foil tends to stick).
I used olive oil spray on the baking paper.
If you want add seaseme seeds to the top for effect and press them in.
Cook in oven for 30-40 minutes or until brown.
Left over pastry can be refrozen, just make sure you cling wrap it well so it doesn't dry out.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Caramel Filled Chocolates

I found this cool professional looking silicone chocolate mold at Victoria's Basement and felt I should give it go.
Easy and drool worthy, not to mention really impressive for guests (not that we had any, just wanted to eat chocolate really!) You could use any filling you liked. I chose caramel cause I made some the night before for no other reason than I wanted to eat caramel.



Caramel Filled Chocolates


Ingredients

1 x 350g can condensed soy milk
100g vegan margarine
1½ tbsp golden syrup
200g vegan chocolate (I used Kinnerton's Dark)


Method

In a saucepan heat condensed soy milk, golden syrup and vegan margarine until boiling, then simmer till thick.
Pour into a container/jug/bowl and refrigerate till firm.
In a small saucepan fill half with water and boil. Place a heat proof bowl on top of the sauce pan.
Break chocolate into small pieces and place in the bowl, stirring until melted.
Place chocolate mold onto a tray or plate so it can moved easily once the chocolate is in.
Add a small amount to each chocolate mold, coating the bottom and sides well.
Refrigerate until hard.
Once hard take out of fridge and place a small amount of caramel in each mold, not above the chocolate line or it will leak out.
Pour the rest of the chocolate into each mold (you may need to reheat the chocolate if it has set).
Use a spatula or flat knife to level the chocolate on the top of the mold flat.
Refrigerate until hard (about 1/2 hour).
Pop out the chocolates and serve. You may need to break of excess chocolate from the bottom to neaten.



Thursday, 6 October 2011

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

This is one of my Grandmother's Hungarian recipes which I've veganised. It's quick and yummy. Serve with pasta, rice, vegetables or anything you like.



Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped finely
1 Tbls oil
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic
Mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped finely
White vinegar - taste
1-2 tbls GF flour + 1-2 Tbls water (to make roux)
1 150g tub Tofutti cream cheese (or 1/2 340g tub of Tofutti sour cream)

Method

In a large frying pan heat oil and fry onion and garlic on a med-high heat until soft.
Add mushrooms and water turning the heat down to medium.
Let simmer for around 7 minutes until the mushrooms have cooked a little.
Add roux* and stir in.
Add in cream cheese or sour cream and turn heat to low.
Add in vinegar to taste (I used maybe 4-5 tsp). Don't be tempted to add salt & pepper because the taste doesn't mix well with the vinegar.
Stir through parsley and serve with whatever you like!

*Note - Roux is a mixture of equal parts flour & water or oil to make a base to thicken soups and sauces.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Mushroom Ravioli

I made this for a friend's birthday on the weekend and it was fairly tasty. The homemade ravioli was a bit fiddly and the filling needed a little more something (maybe salt or Parmesan cheese). It's not my recipe but I can't remember where I got it, but I've changed a few things to make it vegan. It's a really great gluten free fresh pasta recipe, you could add any filling you liked. The sauce is a recipe from Maple Spice. I made the sauce in advance so I could just reheat it on the stove at serving time.



Mushroom Ravioli


Mushroom Filling;

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup GF bread crumbs
3 Tbls olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
480g mix mushrooms, finely chopped
50g vegan Parmesan cheese
2 egg replacers
2 Tbls parsley, finely chopped
pepper & salt (to taste)


Method

In a large frying pan heat oil, add garlic & mushrooms.
Cook on a high heat to cook the mushrooms then reduce heat to and cook for 10mins until decreased in volume.
Remove from heat and add breadcrumbs, egg replacer, cheese, salt & pepper and mix well.
Place to the side or refrigerate until ready to use.


Pasta;

Ingredients

310ml cold water
140g maize flour (not corn flour)
230g rice flour
80g GF gluten substitute (I used Orgran)
1 Tbls olive oil


Method

Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the olive oil and stir in.
Gradually pour in small amounts of water and stir until all mixed.
Using your hands knead the dough until elastic, adding extra rice flour if too sticky.
Divide your dough into 8 equal pieces.
On a well floured surface roll out one piece of dough until thin enough that you can still pick it up.
Use a pastry cutter to cut areas of ravioli to size desired.
Add mixture to one side of pastry, leaving room around the edges.
Fold over other side of pastry and pinch together. Place on a plate and repeat until all ravioli is made.
Boil a large sauce pan of water. Once boiling add a few pieces of ravioli at a time.
When they float to the surface they are ready.
Scoop with sieve and place in a colander with a bowl beneath it to catch the drips.
Repeat until all ravioli is cooked.
They can start to stick to each other in the colander so you can serve up the plates as you go or add some olive oil.
Plate up, add the sauce and serve.



Tempura Vegetables with Dipping Sauce

You always have these vegetables in your fridge so it's easy! You can use any vegetables you like really. As a base just potato, carrot & onion is really nice.



Tempura Vegetables

Ingredients

2 large potatoes (sliced julienne)
3 carrots (sliced julienne)
1 large onion, sliced
1 handful of green beans (sliced if using sugar snap or snow peas)
1 cup peas (if using frozen, defrost first)
1 1/3 cups plain GF flour (rice flour works best)
1 cup iced water
1 tsp salt
1 egg replacer or 1 Tbls olive oil
oil for deep or shallow frying

Method

Whisk together the flour, salt, egg replacer & water together to form a batter.
Add in the vegetables and use two spoons to mix until well coated.


Heat 5cm of oil in a pan (or use a deep fryer) until bubbling. Turn heat down slightly.
Spoon out a bunch of the vegetables and use the other spoon to push gently into the oil.
Don't over crowd, you can probably fit 4-6 bunches at a time.


Cook for around 5-10 per batch and remove with a spider strainer (or the like) and place onto paper towels.
Repeat until finished.


Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

4 Tbls Soy Sauce
1 Tbls Vegan fish stock or Bram's Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbls sugar
salt to taste


Method

While your tempura is cooking, whisk all ingredients together and boil in a pot. Take off heat and serve in bowls when ready.