Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Toad in the Hole

This recipe was for "Lunch Meat" from the Vegan Dad blog but the way it turned out for me was too bready for lunch meat and tasted very much like Toad in the Hole. (As Janie said in "My Family" when Susan said she made Toad in the Hole but had no sausages..."So, it's just Hole"). Yep it was just hole!
I think next time I will add vegan sausages before the steaming process and so that's what this recipe will be.

Toad in the Hole


1 400g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp sage
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
3/4 cup GF gluten substitute
2 cups GF flour
1 packet of vegan sausages, cut in half (or home made - here's my Bean Sausages recipe)


Get water steaming in your steamer. I used a large pot half full of water and a large metal colander.
Start your water boiling.
Place all ingredients except the gluten substitute, flour and sausages in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Add gluten flour and work into a dough.
In the colander lay down enough foil to cover the area and to fold over the top.
Pour mix onto the foil and place sausages into the mix). Steam for 1 hour, flipping over half way through.

Preheat oven to 180C in the last 15 mins of steaming.
Remove packet from steamer and bake for 45-60 mins.
Check with a knife in the middle of the bread to make sure it's cooked. Knife should come out clean.
Break off and serve.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Roast Capsicum Hummus

Roast Capsicum Hummus


1, 400g tin chickpeas, drained
125g roasted red peppers from a jar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
small handful chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil


Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Add olive to make smoother or drizzle on top for presentation.

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Slice

I adapted this from a Nigella recipe so you can pretty much add what you like. The original is marshmallows but I only had sultanas and nuts in the house.

Dark Chocolate Fruit and Nut Slice


125g soft butter
300g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
3 x 15ml tablespoons golden syrup
200g Rich Tea biscuits, bashed or food processed
100g sultanas & mixed nuts (crushed)
2 teaspoons icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Aluminium tray - 24cm square (disposable BBQ ones are great cause you can throw them out afterwards and the slice comes out easily.


Melt chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan.
Scoop out about 1 ladle of this melted mixture and put to one side.
Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the nuts and sultanas. Tip into a foil tray , flatten as best you can with a spatula (i used my fingers).
Pour the reserved of melted chocolate mixture over the buscuit mixture and smooth the top.
Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
Remove from tray.
Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve.

Vegan With A Vengence

Here are the recipes I've made from Vegan With A Vengence available on Amazon. I'm slowly getting through the brilliant cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero from The Post Punk Kitchen.

Chickpea & Spinach Curry

This was a great simple Indian curry dish and very healthy. Delicious!
My version was minus the chickpeas cause I didn't have any. I used kale, peas, cauliflower and carrots.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Panang Curry

I made panang last night with losts of green vegetables but it's really good with potato so I'm adding that to the recipe even if though I didn't use it :) Obviously what vegetables are up to you.
If you want a creamier panang then add more coconut milk/cream.

Panang Curry


4 Tbls Vegan panang curry paste
2 Tbls oil (I used coconut oil)
3 Tbls vegan fish sauce (I use the one from Vegan's Choice Grocer but here's a homemade one from Vegan Dad)
1 Tbls sugar
1 cup vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk or cream
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup frozen peas, unfrozen
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
1 head broccoli, washed and chopped
1 packet of puffy tofu (available from an Asian grocers)
1 bunch bok choy, washed and shoppped
1 handful of english spinach, washed


In a medium pot boil some water and add potatoes, boil for 10 minutes.
In a large pot cook oil and curry paste on medium until sizzling.
Add coconut milk, sugar, stock and fish sauce and bring to boil.
Add puffy tofu and peas. Once potato is done add it as well.
Simmer on a low-medium heat for 10-20 minutes.
Add other vegetables and turn off heat once the leafy vegetables are wilted and broccoli is heated through.
Serve with brown or basmati rice.

Creamy Vegan Carbonara

I had some white sauce left over from last night's dinner so I tried to make a carbonara inspired pasta dish. Alternatively you can leave out the vegan ham and just make an alfredo style sauce. Note: my pasta was green because I used lentil pasta.

Creamy Vegan Carbonara


White sauce
1 Tbls Nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbls olive oil
Vegan ham, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Parsley, chopped (optional)
GF Pasta


In a large saucepan boil the water for the pasta and cook as per instructions.
In a medium frying pan heat oil on a medium heat and fry onions for 2 mins.
Add garlic and ham and fry until ham is crispy on the outside and the onion is clear.
To heated white sauce add nutritional flakes and whisk through.
Once cooked take off heat and whisk through white sauce.
Combine sauce with well drained pasta, toss through parsley and serve.

Basic Vegan White Sauce

A basic white (also known as Béchamel Sauce) can be used over vegetables, as a base for other sauces (such as mornay if you add cheese) and to add to pastas and lasagne.
Here's a vegan garlic version from Vegan Lovlie...

Basic Vegan White Sauce


200ml soy/rice milk
2 Tbls GF flour
1 tsp vegan margarine
2 cloves garlic, finelty chopped
1 tsp salt
1 Tbls water at room temperature


In a non stick saucepan add margarine and garlic on a low heat and sauté for 1 min.
In a small bowl whisk in flour and water and till it forms a paste without lumps.
Reduce heat to very low and pour in paste.
Whisk and pour in milk, small amounts at a time until blended.
Continue whisking and pouring milk until milk is finished.
Increase heat to medium and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally.
Turn off heat, whisk in salt and serve or add other sauces.

Note: for a cheesy mornay add 2 Tbls nutritional yeast flakes (or more to taste) and whisk in while sauce is still hot.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Vegan Deodorant

Finding decent vegan cosmetics, perfume and deodorant have been my biggest struggle. Not sure about you other lovely vegans out there but the crystal just doesn't cut it for me and my stank! Unfortunately my favourite deodorants, Lavanilla and Tom's of Maine, are  from the USA but can still be obtained! 

Tom's of Maine

Tom's of Maine are extremely unisex and work so well, will keep you stank free all day. They work better (for me) than Lavanilla but don't smell as pretty. They don't smell bad, they generally have no scent at all or a unisex fragrance like lemongrass. The sticks are my favourite, they are long lasting, great for sport and are clear which is unusual for stick deodorant. Tom's of Maine a 100% vegan and have a range of vegan products including mouthwash, dental floss, toothpaste and soap. I buy it from eBay.

Lavanilla are a vegan brand of beauty products, mainly skin care and perfume. They sell it at Sephora in the States and sometimes I find some on Amazon or eBay. They are all vanilla based fragrances and smell beautiful. It is great long lasting deodorant but isn't really great for sport. I love the coconut one best just because I'm OBSSESSED with coconut but the grapefruit one lasts the longest on.

Stella McCartney Perfume

I recently discovered Stella McCartney perfumes are 100% vegan and cruelty free. Needless to say I went on a rampage and bought as many as I could find...


Top Note: Grapefruit, Moroccan Rose
Middle Note: Peony, Pink Pepper
Base Note: Vanilla, Musks, Woodsy Notes, Ambergris

(this one is growing on me, it's very floral but strong. Similar to Kate Spade's Beauty)

Notes Top Note: Essence Of Rose, Peony Blossom, Essence Of, Mandarin Orange
Middle Note: Absolute Of Rose, Woody Ambers
Base Note: Woody Ambers

"Sheer Stella"
(my favourite because I love rose)

Top Notes: Peony, Pink pepper, Freesia, Raspberry
Middle Notes: White rose
Base Notes: White musk

"Stella In Two: Amber"

This solid perfume is lovely, rich amber. Not a big fan of solid perfume though so I wish it was available in a spray.

Note: a follower did tell me recently that they thought Stella's parent company still tests the products on animals but I have been assured by Stella that it doesn't. It's all you can do unless you want to walk into the factories yourself. I have to believe what manufacturers tell me unless there is proof otherwise. As a strict vegan with her life and fashion designs I'd be surprised if Stella McNartney would allow it.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Melty Cheese

Sorry, this is not my recipe but I can't find where I got the original. Mea Culpa!

Melty Cheese


1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup GF flour
3 Tbls corn flour
1 1/2 tsp seas salt
2 cups water
1/4 cup vegan margarine


Mix all dry ingredients together.
In a medium saucepan place dry ingredients and heat on medium slowly pouring in water and whisking.
Once smooth allow to heat until bubbles form, always stirring.
Once bubbling, remove from heat and whisk in margarine.

Everything Pasta Bake

So my fridge died so I decided to use up anything that would go bad. When I realised I didn't have any lasagne slats I decided to make up a pasta bake. It was pretty yummy but I think the extra tomatoes were too much.

Everything Pasta Bake


1 packet GF pasta, cooked
Jacquie's vegan bolognese sauce  (from my lasagne recipe)
2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved
Melty cheese
1/2 cup vegan sour cream or cream cheese
15 baby potatoes cooked and sliced


Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease a large casserole dish with oil spray.
Layer ingredients: bolognese, pasta, tomato, potato and melty cheese.
Repeat until all ingredients is finish - ending with a layer of bolognese mixed with the cream cheese.
Bake for 20-30mins, or until brown on the top.

Cooroy Hotel, Noosa

My cousin, Tim Searle, was the head chef at Cooroy Hotel, Noosa and he recently has his wedding reception there.
He really looked after us vegan (there were five of us!). Everything he made us was vegan and gluten free.
We had falaffel for canapes.

He is now the head chef at the Bellvista Tavern, Caloundra QLD, so if you're in the area he can try and fix you up with some yummy vegan food!

Entree: Vegetable Stack

Main: Yellow Chickpea Curry

Dessert: Coconut Cream Dessert with Rasberry Compote

Monday, 13 February 2012

Raita (Indian yoghurt sauce)

Raita is one of the things I miss the most, it's lovely on pappadums and with falaffel. This is a simple recipe I made up which seems to taste pretty similar.



1/2 tub vegan sour cream (I used 1/2 340g Tofutti Sour Cream tub)
2 tsp agave syrup
1 Tbls dried mint
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt


Whisk ingredients in a bowl and add more of anything to taste.

Vegan Ice Cream

My friend Anna and I had a go at making vegan ice cream without an ice cream maker and it actually turned out really well. You need to be home most of the day so you can keep sporadically mixing it to avoid icicles though. From the basic recipe you can add whatever flavours tickle your fancy. I have to say the rum and raisin was divine! Basic recipe from Veg Web.

Coconut Ice Cream (base)
Makes: Approximately 1 litre of ice cream


2 (400g) cans high quality coconut milk (or cream)
1 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract


Start by finding a large bowl or container for storage and placing it in the freezer overnight.
Pour coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla into a blender, and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy and smooth.
Stir in any other flavours.
Refrigerate, covered.
Every 1/2 hour take the ice cream out and mix in container with electric beaters (I recommend doing this in the sink). Repeat this step for 4-6 hours until set.

Note: For chocolate ice cream just add 3 Tbls cocoa (slowly, one spoon at a time) to the blender.

Rum & Raisin Variation

1/4 cup rum
1 cup raisins

Add more rum to taste

Maple Syrup and Walnut Variation

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup crushed walnuts or pecans

Monday, 6 February 2012

3 Day Juice Fast

I've been wanting to do a juice fast for ages but it never seemed to be the right time. I thought you couldn’t work or exercise etc but I was recently inspired by a blog entry about a 7 day juice fast on Easy As Vegan Pie. I'm not ready to do a 7 day fast but I did want to try do a 5 day one. Unfortunately due to some travel commitments I decided to start with a 3 day one and then do a 5 day one when I get back.
For a fast you should be using mainly vegetables at now more than a 60 veg/40 fruit ratio. Fruit is very high is natural sugar and during a fast you want to cleanse the body of these sugars.
My Everything Juice had soo many vegetables in it and yet ended up just tasting like celery juice!

Everything Juice
(makes 1.5 litres - 4x 400ml glasses)


9 carrots (top and tailed)
4 apples (cores removed)
4 oranges (skin removed)
1/2 bunch celery (including leaves)
2 large handfuls english spinach
4 zucchinis (top and tailed)
1 very large cucumber (top and tailed)


Wash all vegetables well and juice.
I have a Breville Juice Extractor which has a large opening so you don't have to chop the vegetables up.
I just juice into a small jug and then pour into a large jug.
I find the juicer much easier to clean than people make out. Most of it is just rinsing as it's only had juice in it. The actually blades and meshing you can just clean with a toothbrush.

Note: if you keep the pulp of the vegetables you can use them to make vege patties.

Juice Fast Diary

Day 1

Had Everything Juice for breakfast and dinner. Had a beetroot, carrot, ginger and parsley juice from Top Juice, Westfield Food Court, Sydney CBD. Was kind of heavy on the carrot. Felt hungry all day. Just trying to fill myself up with water and caffeine free tea (rooibos and dandelion tea). Went to bed early feeling like I was coming down with something - sore throat and flemmy.

Day 2

Felt really good today, had energy and was hungry. Still thinking about food because I love to cook and eat but not thinking about as much as yesterday. Had Everything Juice for breakfast and dinner. Had Two & Five Juice (beetroot, celery, carrot, orange and apple) from Boost, Myer Food Court, Sydney CBD. Fast must be working because boyf announced last night that I had smelly breath LOL
I've definitely notice a lot more plaque that normal on my teeth. Felt fine but had no energy.
Ran out of juice so had to make a new one with what I had in the house - was actually quite nice!;

Peach Surprise

3 peaches
4 apples
2 large handfuls english spinach
10 carrots
3 bunches asparagus

Day 3

Felt fine this morning, had less energy but don't feel hungry. Had Peach Surprise juice for breakfast and dinner and a Slimmer juice (carrot, beetroot, spinach & cucumber) from Juicer (Australia Square, Sydney). Drinking water, dandelion tea & rooibos tea in between juices.

Day 4

Had some Peach Surprise juice left so had for breakfast before going to the airport. Feel pretty good. Have lost 3kg. Not sure if my skin looks brighter or any of the other benefits people speak of but I feel good. Hopefully I'll only want to eat smaller meals from now on (yeah right!).

The Best Chocolate Cake

This is a simple recipe for chocolate cake yet it always turns out amazingly. It's so decadant and rich.
Try to start with your ingredients at room temperature for a really light and fluffy cake.

The Best Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients

200g self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
50g cocoa
125g vegan butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
275g caster sugar
2 egg replacers (as per instructions on packet)
160ml water

Icing Ingredients

165g vegan butter
4 cups icing sugar
40 ml soy or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
(for coloured icing omit the cocoa and add food colouring)

Method for Cake

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease your baking tin and line with baking paper. (I used a casserole dish for this cake for the shape).
In a large bowl beat the butter and caster sugar until creamed.
Add in egg replacers and vanilla extract and mix well.
Sift in flour and cocoa and mixed through by hand first (so that it doesn't fly everywhere) and then mix well with beaters.
Slowly add in water while beating.
Spoon down the sides and beat until smooth.
Pour into cake tin and bake for 45mins.
To test if ready place a metal skewer or knife in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean it's ready. If not just keep baking for an extra 10 minutes at a time until done.

Icing Method

In a large bowl add vegan butter and sift in icing sugar.
Stir through by hand and then use beaters.
Add vanilla extract and sifted cocoa powder.
Slowly add in a small amount of milk at a time while mixing. You may not need all the milk.
If the consistency is separated add more icing sugar or cocoa depending on taste preference.
Spoon down sides and mix until smooth. Icing should be thick enough to not run.
You can keep in fridge until ready.

Note: I had plenty of icing left over and I just ended up making another cake and using it up but you also freeze it and it will last 6 months at least.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Easy Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is high is protein, gluten free and comes in many varieties. I love it as a healthier alternative to rice.
It's ridiculously easy to cook and it tastes yummy. You cook quinoa in the same way you would risotto rice, just slowly adding the water or stock until it is absorbed.

Easy Quinoa
(Serves 4)


1 cup quinoa (any variety)
1 litre vege stock
1 tsp oil
vegetables of your choice
(I used frozen corn, frozen peas and sweet potato that I baked in the oven while I was making the quinoa)


In medium saucepan heat the quinoa and oil on low until the quinoa is coated.
Turn the heat to medium-high and add enough stock to just cover the quinoa.
When the stock is absorbed add more stock. Repeat until all stock is gone.
When cooked the quinoa whould have a chewy consistancy similar to rice.
Turn the heat down to low-medium and the vegetables.
Cook or heat through and serve.

Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce

This is a simple tomato based pasta sauce that you can use on pasta, in lasagne or in a pasta bake.

Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce (serves 4)


2 cans of crushed tomatoes or a large jar of pasta sauce
1 large jar tomato paste
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbls olive oil
1-2 Tbls mixed herbs
2-4 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Vegetables of your choice (I used olives, mushrooms and english spinach)


In a large frying pan or saucepan heat olive oil and onions on a medium heat until the onion is transparent.
Add garlic and fry for 1 minute.
Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
In the tomato paste jar add 1/2 jar hot water, screw lid on tight and shake water to mix in extra tomato paste.
Add mixture to saucepan.
Add herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add vegetables and leave for a few minutes to heat through.
Leave saucepan on a low heat until ready to serve.
If mixture is too bitter add more sugar, if too sweet add more salt.