Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I Finally Have a Facebook page!

As my very smart and computer saavy brother suggested last night "you really should have a Facebook page" and I agreed. I'd just never thought about it lol

So welcome one and all to the new Vegans Have Superpowers Facebook page!

I won't lie, it's really not too different from the blog but might have some optional extras ;)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Choqlate

More chocolate - I know you'd think I was a chocoholic or something...and you'd be right.

A new chocolatier just opened up in Pyrmont, Sydney and has a cafe as well. Choqlate has a lot of vegan chocolate and is all handmade.
Their 55% cocolate is so so creamy and not at all bitter - taste similar to milk chocolate.
They even do chocolate making courses. They assure me they will be selling online soon!

I had the Walnut and Cranberry Dark Chocolate - YUM

Monday, 17 December 2012

Cheese, Red Onion & Rosemary Muffins

I adapted this recipe from Savoury Mini Muffins with Two Flavours by Delia Online. I made these mini muffins for my wedding. They were delicious, the only thing I would change would be baking them straight into the greased tray and then putting them in cases afterwards as they stuck to the paper a bit.
This recipe will make 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins.


Cheese, Red Onion & Rosemary Muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins:  

10 oz (275 g) plain GF flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg replacer
1 egg replacer or olive oil for brushing over muffins before baking
8 fl oz (225 ml) rice milk
a little vegan margarine for greasing
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the goats' cheese, red onion and rosemary flavouring:

2 oz (50 g) red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2oz (50 g) cheese, cut into 1/4 inch (5 mm) cubes (I used Vegusto No-Moo Piquant)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus 12 small sprigs for garnishing
1/2 oz (10 g) vegan margarine

Method 

Make the flavouring first by melting the margarine in a small saucepan and softening the onion in it for about 5 minutes. Then allow it to cool.
Now pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) while you make the basic muffin mixture.
First of all, sift the flour, baking powder and salt on to a large plate, then take a large mixing bowl and sift the mixture again, this time into the bowl, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing.
Now, in a jug, beat one of the egg replacers, then whisk it together with the milk. Next, fold all this into the flour, using the minimum number of folding movements. (Ignore the unpromising look of the mixture at this stage and don’t overmix.)
Now return to the flavouring and gently mix the onion into the muffin mixture in one bowl, along with the cheese and chopped rosemary, folding in, as before, with as few strokes as possible.
If mixture is looking too dry, add some more milk.
After that, if you are using muffin cases, arrange them in the tins and spoon the mixture into them; alternatively, spoon the mixture straight into the greased tins.



Beat the egg replacer or olive oil and brush the surfaces with it, then top the muffins with a sprig of rosemary.
Then bake them for about 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Remove the muffins from the tins to a rack and eat as warm as possible.

Ginger Chocolate Truffles

I like to make balls and truffles to give away as gifts at Xmas time. There's something nice about homemade stuff as gifts I think! This receipe is from Gormandise with A-dizzle & K-bobo.





Ginger Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients

250g of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup of soy milk
6-7 pieces of glace ginger, chopped finely (you could also use crystalised)
1-2 pinches ground ginger (depends how gingery you want it, add more or less to taste)
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional: to make it even more gingery add a pinch of ground ginger to your rolling cocoa)


Method

Heat the soymilk in a small saucepan until small bubbles appear and steam rises off the pan.
Take off heat, add the chocolate and ground ginger and stir vigorously until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth.
Stir through the chopped glace ginger. Place in a container and leave to chill in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
Remove ganache from the fridge.
Place about ¼ cup of cocoa powder on a small bowl, and using a teaspoon or a melon baller (these are perfect!), place a spoonful of the ganache into the cocoa, tossing it in the cocoa until covered.
Then dust your palms with some of the cocoa and roll the ganache piece into a ball, and place on a serving plate/whatever plate you like.
Repeat until you run out of ganache.

Note: If you're doing it on a warm day they you're going to want to keep these babies in the fridge as much as possible!

Makes about 30 truffles (depends how big you roll them)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Santa's Chocolate Salty Balls

I pulled this out of the archives the other day. I can't believe I forgot about this one! It was given to me buy a friend years ago and adopted from the recipe in the Chef's Chocoalte Salty Balls song from South Park. They taste like crunchy Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM




Santa's Chocolate Salty Balls
Makes 50

Ingredients

3 cups GF rice bubbles
4 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 cups peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
500g vegan chocoalte


Method

In a large (and I mean large) bowl sift the icing sugar and mix through rice bubbles.
In a medium pan heat the margarine and peanut butter on a low heat until mixed through and melted.
remove from heat and stir into the icing sugar mix until completely mixed through.
You can use your hands if you like, you're going to use them to roll anyway.



In a saucepan boil some water and place a heat proof bowl (larger than the opening of the saucepan) on top.
Add in broken bits of chocolate and stir until melted.
You might want to use an oven mit to hold the bowl as it gets hot and can steam.
Have a mini muffin tray ready with mini muffin wrappers.
Grab a small amount of mixture and make a ball in your hand.
Drop into the chocolate and cover.
Spoon out and drop into wrapper.
Repeat until finished with the mixture.
Fridgerate until hard.
These will freeze well also.

Note: if your mixture is too crumbly to form balls then add some more melted butter.

If you want to be lazy you can add the melted chocolate straight into the mixture and mix thoroughly. Then form balls from that mixture. It will still set fine.

Variation: If you prefer white chocolate balls you can just use a mixture of white chocolate and peanut butter as your coating.





Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Laika - Vegan Magazine

A vegan friend of mine forwarded me the link to this new vegan lifestyle magazine called Laika that looks awesome!
The quarterly magazine is available in a print or online subscription! Very exciting!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lamyong Savoury Sticks


 
I got these delicious Lamyong savoury sticks from the Cruelty Free Shop freezer section. They were delicious and also gluten free!
I shallowed fried them and served with homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce.

Creamy Porcini Mushroom & Spinach Pasta



I adapted this recipe from the SMH website and the original is by Neil Perry.

Creamy Porcini Mushroom & Spinach Pasta 

Ingredients

400g dried pasta
30ml olive oil
20g unsalted butter
100g eschalots, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
250g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
100ml dry white wine
10g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 50ml hot water, thoroughly rinsed, finely chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
450ml vegetable stock
300ml vegan cream (I actually think vegan sour cream tastes better)
1 bunch English spinach, leaves washed and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegan Parmesan to finish.


Method

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
Cook the opasta until al dente, strain and set aside.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the eschalots over a low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and button mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms have softened. Add the wine and simmer until liquid has evaporated.
Add the porcini mushrooms, thyme leaves and stock, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir through the cream and spinach and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and check the seasoning.
Serve sauce into bowls over the orecchiette with a good sprinkle of Parmesan and ground black pepper, and garnish with baby rocket leaves.




Hoisin Sauce




Hoisin Sauce

Ingredients


4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons black bean paste (I used black bean sauce)
1 tablespoon agave, molasses or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
20 drops chinese hot sauce, habenero or jalepeno (I used a tsp of Sambal Olak chilli paste)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Method

Whisk together in a bowl.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Penne with Roasted Capsicum Sauce

I had some of my Dad's awesome Roasted Capsicum Sauce left over so I thought I'd try it with pasta and it was delicious!!





Penne with Roasted Capsicum Sauce

Ingredients

1 packet GF penne pasta (I used San Remo)
2 cups Roasted Capsicum Sauce
350g marinated tempeh or tofu slices, chopped into cubes


Method

Boil pasta as per packer instructions.
In a separate pan on a medium heat stir through tofu and pasta.
Once pasta is ready cover with the sauce.

Lentil Stuffed Peppers with Roast Capsicum Sauce

This is my dad's recipe. The stuffed pappers were based on a Hungarian recipe involving mince and the sauce is based on a soup recipe.





Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

6 Bullhorn peppers - gutted
1/2 cup of cooked rice
3 Tbls olive oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, choppped
1/2 tps red chilli flakes
400g can peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbls flat parsley, chopped
2 Tbls basil, chopped
1 cup dried lentils (brown or green)
2 cups vegetable stock (add an extra tsp of stock powder)
1/4 tsp salt


Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan for 1 min and cook onion and garlic for 4 mins on a medium heat until clear.
Add chilli, tomatoes, parsley & basil and cook for 3 minutes.
Add lentils, stock and salt.
Cover and bring to boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 25 mins, stirring occasionally.
Once cooked place half othe mixture into a blender and pulse 5 times.
Return to heat and add rice.
Cook through for another 5 minute on a medium heat (or until lentils are soft).




Roast Capsicum Sauce/Soup

Ingredients

4 red capsicums (peppers), halved and seeded
8 tomatoes, halved and seeded
olive oil for brushing
3 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbls basil, shredded
corn flour to thicken
salt and pepper to taste


Method

Preheat oven to 200C.
Place capsicums on a baking tray skin side up and brush with oil.
On a separate tray place tomatoes flesh side up and brush with oil.
Bake for 40 minutes or until capsicum skins are black and tomatoes are soft.
Place the capsicums in a plastic bag, tie the top and leave for 5 mintues, then peel away the skins.
Place capsicum flesh and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and blitz with a small amount of the stock until smooth.
Place mixture in a saucepan with the remaining stock and stir over a medium heat until hot.
Whisk in 2 tsp corn flour and wait for mixture to thicken. If you would like it thicker add more corn flour.
Stir through basil and pour over Stuffed Peppers.

NB: If you want this as a soup just omit the corn flour and do not deseed the tomato.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Vintage Wedding & Food Signs

For my upcoming wedding a lot of DIY was involved due to a very tight budget.
I am made the signs to the wedding and the signs for the food myself.





VintageWedding & Food Signs

You will need;

Frames
Craft knife or guillotine (or just scissors)
Double sided tape
Paper with your design on it
Tea bags
Baking tray (make sure you can lye your paper flat)
Cardboard (white or cream) - for food signs


Method;

I found some cheap frames at a homewares place (House2Home).
For the design on the sign I found a vintage style boarder I liked online and then copied it into a Word document. Then I added a Text Box and chose a vintage font to write what I wanted and centred it.

For the wedding signs I made them A4 size to fit the frames.
For the food signs I made them around  9cm x 4cm.

Once you have your printed signs cut the small ones out with craft knife or guillotine (or scissors if you have a very steady hand).



In the baking add some tea bags (maybe 4-6) and add water (cold or luke warm is fine) and let the tea steep until water is dark, around 10 minutes. The water should look very dark but the paper will be much lighter. Take out the tea bags.


Submerge the paper and carboard into the tea mixture and make sure if you are doing more than one at a time that they are not touching each other cause they will leave marks.





After 30mins take them out and lay flat on a towel to dry. If you want them darker then just leave in for longer. You can leave for up to 24 hours, just remember the paper will be very delicate when you take it out. Once it's dried put in between book pages over night to flatten.

Once flat and dry the wedding signs can be put into the frames (use double sided tape so that it doesn't move around).



Attached the food signs to the cardboard with double sided tape - you want enough room above the sign to fold over to make it stand up. Use the guillotine to cut sides and bottom to size. Fold in the middle and there you have it!

You can do something similar with food toppers by sticking the two sides of the sign onto a toothpick (picture below from Sweetly Scrapped Art, where we got ours).




Sunday, 2 December 2012

Cruelty Free Shop

A lot of you Aussie vegans may already buy online from the Cruelty Free Shop but Jessica has recently opened her first store in Sydney located at 83 Glebe Point Road, Glebe and I had my first visit last weekend. The shop is sooo awesome! I went in there for two things and ended up buying half the shop. The choice was endless...unfortunately my credit limit isn't. I'm sure Jessica's happy I'm not waking her up early on a Saturday morning to collect my goods from her house anymore ;)
If you're in Sydney check it out for all your vegan needs...

Bloomsberry & Co. Chocolate

My beautiful friend recently send me a "Dechox" chocolate bar from New Zealand owned Bloomsberry & Co. You may have seen the "Emergency" bars before. Don't worry foreigners...they sell everywhere! Just check the website for retailers.
It happened to arrive on the hottest day of the year and so had melting and reformed but still tasted delicious! It's what I remember advent calendar and easter egg milk chocolate tasting like. Definitely had more of a milk chocolate taste than dark chocolate which is surprising for 70% cocoa. YUM!


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sweet & Sour Sauce


This Asian classic is dead easy to make from scratch and make wonderful dipping sauce for any of your vegan meats and spring rolls.



Sweet & Sour Sauce

Ingredients 

1/3 cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water


Method

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and whisk until thickened.



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Apple, Parsley & Walnut Salad

From the Jamie Oliver recipe "Apple and Walnut Croutes", this is a very refreshing salad for summer that incorporated both sweet and sour. (Pictured here with sunflower seeds because I was out of walnuts).



Apple, Parsley & Walnut Salad
Ingredients

1 clove of garlic
2 apples (I used one granny smith and one pink lady)
½ a bunch of fresh parsley
1 lemon
1 small handful of shelled walnuts


Method 

Coarsely grate or slice the apple into matchsticks and toss with the roughly chopped parsley, garlic, walnuts and a little lemon juice.

Mushroom Soup

This is based on a recipe from Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals.



Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

2 onions
2 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp vegetable stock (dry)
½ a bunch of fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic
4 large portobello mushrooms
8 chestnut or swiss brown mushrooms
100g (3½oz) basmati rice
1 litre boiling water
1 tbsp vegan sour cream (for serving)
1 tsp truffle oil (optional)
Salt & Pepper


Method

Peel, halve and finely slice the onions and put them into the large pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Crumble in the stock cube, add a pinch of salt and pepper, strip in the thyme leaves and squash in 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic through a garlic crusher.
Crumble in the chestnut mushroom and portobellos, add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour in 1 litre of boiling water and boil with the lid on for 10 mins.
Use the stick blender to purée the soup to a consistency you like, then season to taste, if needed, and swirl in the cream and truffle oil.  

Spicy Plum Sauce

Plum sauce is easy to make and so yummy. This tangy sauce is great in stirfrys and as a dipping sauce for vegan meats and spring rolls.





Spicy Plum Sauce
(makes 4 cups)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 long red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped) or 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 cup vegan fish sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 kg plums (halved, desee


Method

In a large saucepan heat sugar and water on a medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
Add chilli and simmer and only stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Add vegan fish sauce, plums and hoisin and cook for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until plums have broken down.
Store in fridge for up to two weeks.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Josophan's Drinking Chocolate

So I know I've gone a bit crazy over Josophan's chocolate but now I'm going crazy over their drinking chocolates (which are all vegan). Josophan's Fine Chocolates - drinking chocolate is handmade & fair trade and comes in Traditional, Mayan, Chilli, Orange & Orange Spiced flavours.

Here is Elvis and I enjoying our Chilli Drinking Chocolate...mmmmm

Josophan's Fine Chocolate

For anyone in Sydney or the Blue Mountains I have such exciting news. If you haven't been into Josophan's Fine Chocolates there is a store in York Street, Sydney and one in Leura Mall.
But never fear if you live nowhere near either of those places because you can buy online from their website! Finally a chocolatier that understands that real dark chocolate is dairy free. All the chocolate is made onsite.

"Josophan’s creates extraordinary fine chocolates, using Fair Trade certified chocolates and fresh flavour infusions. No preservatives, no artificial flavours, simply fresh, naturally flavoured, extraordinarily beautiful chocolates."

Hold up you say, what's so amazing about it? Well...all of their dark chocolate is amazing and VEGAN!! Finally a place to buy really good quality dark chocolate, even one of their truffles (the Cocoa Nib Praline Truffle) is vegan (sorry no photo cause I scoffed it down in store). If I had known about this place in advance I would have used the truffles as my bonbonnaire instead of killing myself making marmalade but we live and learn!

They have dark chocoalte bars, boxed chocolates, clusters, drinking chocolate and single origin samples. I didn't know this but apparently even though those little coloured ones in the photo are all dark chocolate, they all taste different because they are single origin and each origin has a unique flavoured cocoa bean because of the soil. Things you learn! My favourite in order was blue, green, pink then yellow. There was a subtle but noticable difference definitely. The chocolate hazelnut clusters were sooooo good.




Yes, I went back the next day and bought more (don't you judge me!)


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Traditional Lemonade





Traditional Lemonade

Ingredients

3.5 cups white sugar
1 gallon (16 cups) water
3 cups lemon juice (around 15 lemons)


Method

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups water.
Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp.
In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 14 cups water.

* Dilute further with cold water if necessary


DIY Marmalade Wedding Favours

My wedding in December is a very DIY affair (code for budget). For the bonbonniere I decided jam would be a nice homemade touch. I may have underestimated how long 45 jars of marmalade would take but I now have enough...even though couples have to share :)




I just used jar collected from different preserved items. The cloth was cut with pinking shears, attached with an elastic band and finished off with twine. The labels were a design from Gerson Curse on Etsy which I printed onto label paper and cut out. Recipe for the marmalade is here.



Baby one for my flower girl :)


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Choices Bakery Focaccia

I recently bought this gluten free and vegan foacaccia from Choices Gluten Free Bakery, it was soo good. I had it with tomato and Vegusto No-Moo cheese.

Dill Mustard Mayonnaise

This is a great sauce for tofu "fish" fingers or cakes. Obviously mix up amounts for your own taste.



Dill Mustard Mayonnaise

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbls English mustard (less if you want less heat)
2 Tbls chopped dill (or 1 Tbls dried)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)


Method

Whisk all ingredients well.

Wasabi Mash Potato

This is sooo good, it gives your mash potato a real kick.



Wasabi Mash Potato
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 large potatoes, chopped (skinned if desired)
2 Tbls vegan magarine
4 Tbls horse radish (if using wasabi just try 1 Tbls and then add based on your tolerance)
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste


Method

In a medium saucepan boil some water (enough to cover potatoes).
Once boiled add potatoes and boil until potatoes are soft.
Drain potatoes well and then transfer back to saucepan.
Mash potatoes and then stir in horse radish/wasabi and maragarine until mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Fish

I found these vegan fish "cod" fillets in the Asian supermarket and they are gluten free. They taste like fish fingers. I coated them with egg replacer then polenta and shallow fried. Goes well with Spicy Plum Sauce.
Served with Wasabi Mash Potato, Dill Mustard Mayonnaise and broccoli.