Thursday, 31 May 2012

Faith's Banana Bread

My gorgeous friend Faith gave me this recipe of hers. I won't pretend it's healthy. We all think of muffins and sweet breads as healthy...who are we kidding? They are cake people! Admit it and move on.
This was sooo good, sooo moist and sooo simple. (I may or may not have had 1/3 of the loaf in one sitting)



Faith's Banana Bread

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted vegan margarine
1 egg replacer
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup GF flour


Method

Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease baking tin.
Mix all ingredients in a food processor.
Pour into baking tin and bake for 1 hour.


Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Serve with vegan margarine.





Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Smoky Pineapple Salsa

I got this recipe from Mouthwatering Vegan. It's a sweet and smoky salsa that was amazing on my lentil burger (yes there were two and yes I ate both, Judgie!) and on my faux meats.



Smoky Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

1 x 230g tin of pineapple chunks
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (I just used regular tomatoes)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 Tbls tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbls brown sugar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp smoked paprika


Method

Blend all ingredients in a food processor till smooth or chucky depending on preference.
Heat on low-medium in a saucepan for 20minutes until thickened.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Laksa

Laksa is a spicy Asian coconut noodle soup. So yummy in the Winter! I got my vegan Laksa paste from the Cruelty Free Shop. The soup base is what's important, then just add whatever ingredients you like.


Laksa
Serves 4

Ingredients

180g Laksa paste (half the jar - this will make it medium/hot)
2 cups (500ml) veg stock
2x 400ml can coconut milk (or cream)
2 cups bean sprouts
Handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 packet vermicelli
1 block of tofu of choice, sliced
1/2 packet vegan fish balls (They have an amazing selection of vegan/gluten free mock meat at CitiSuper in Sydney Town Hall)
1 bunch chinese broccoli
1 handful english spinach


Method

In a large bowl add vermicelli and pour over boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In a large soup pan add water and boil.
One boiling whisk in laksa paste and coconut milk.
Add fish balls and tofu and turn heat down to medium.
Add vegetables (except bean sprouts) and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the vermicelli.
Add vermicelli and a handful of bean sprouts to a deep bowl and ladel in laksa.
To serve you can add coriander and/or fresh lime juice.






Sunday, 27 May 2012

Vegan Fried Eggs

I found these vegan fried eggs at CitiSuper in Sydney Town Hall. Weird yes but they are actually really nice. Kind of like when someone fries both sides too much and it turns slightly rubbery. So the yolk didn't run but still tasted pretty good!




Moo Free Milk Chocolate

Finally there is a decent vegan milk chocolate on the market! Moo Free is so yummy. Previously only available at Easter and Christmas it's now available from the Cruelty Free Shop in blocks (insert drooling noise).


Blue's Sugarless Chocolate - Fresh Mint

I really missed mint chocolate but I recently discovered Blue's Sugarless Chocolate - Fresh Mint. It's dairy, gluten and sugar free and there was quite a good range of other flavours in the IGA where I got mine.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Roast Vegetable Lasagne

My friend was over for dinner last night and she is a vegetarian but hates meat substitutes so I thought I'd give vegetable lasagne a go...it was soooo good!! We had it with GF garlic bread...YUM!
Wish I'd had some red wine...



Roast Vegetable Lasagne

Filling Ingredients

GF Lasange Slats (I used San Remo)
1 large sweet potato
2 zucchinis
1 large eggplant
1 capsicum
2 large portabello mushrooms (or a handful of regular)
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (optional for the top)
Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional for top)

White Sauce Ingredients

80g vegan margarine (I used Nuttalex)
1/3 cup GF plain flour
2 1/2 cups dairy free milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbls sugar
1-2 Tbls mixed herbs
handful fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper



Method

Firstly preheat youor oven to 200C and line your baking trays with baking paper.
Peel and slice your vegetables thinly and place on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20-30mins then turn over vegetables and bake until soft.

While your vegetables are baking make the pasta sauce.
In a medium saucepan start by sauting your onion and garlic in olive oil on a medium heat.
Once onions are clear add your crushed tomatoes, capsicum, tomato paste, water, herbs and sugar.
Season with salt and pepper and keep turn down to a low heat (or take off heat) until everything is ready.



Emerse your lasagne slats into some warm water to soften.

Then make the white sauce add the vegan margarine into a medium/large saucepan on a medium/low heat until melted.
Whisk in flour and heat through for 2 mins.
Add milk slowing while whisking and keep stirring till mxture starts to bubble.
Once bubbling take off heat and whisk through the nutritional flakes and nutmeg.
Season with salt and pepper and leave off heat.



Once vegetables are ready get your baking tin or casserole dish and grease with oil spray.
Slowly layer with pasta sauce, then vegetables, then lasagne slats, then white sauce and repeat.
Make sure you have enough white sauce and pasta sauce for the top (or save all your pasta sauce for the top).
The final layer should be white sauce under pasta sauce. I like to mix vegan cream cheese in with the final amount of pasta sauce because it gives it a nice tang.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake in 200C oven for 40mins or until brown on top.

Note: This sounds really weird but vegetable lasagne is also really nice with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar over the top before serving.



Adventures with Fondont Icing

I had a 12yo over on Saturday and she wanted to make cupcakes so we made vanilla cupcakes. She asked if we could use fondont...puzzled look on my face...um ok sure. I had never heard of this before. I mean I've seen decoration on cakes but I didn't know you could just buy this stuff in the supermarket! And it's cheap, vegan and gluten free...yay!

So here is my first experiment with fondont...


So basically you take a little piece of fondont and a tiny bit of food colouring (I used the small amount that catches in the lid) and rub it into the piece of fondont until you get the colour you want. Yes it stains your fingers but get over it...we suffer for our art! Then you mould the fondont into the shape and place on a sheet of baking paper. Add markings etc and then place in the fridge until your ready to add them to your iced cupcakes. Before you ask the super awesome leaves were all me baby!

TA DA!!!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse Icing

I had a birthday and Mother's Day to make something for so I figured one batch of cupcakes would stretch for everyone. I used this variation on my Best Chocolate Cake Recipe to make cupcakes. First time was a dismal fail, second time...perfection. My friend was quoted to saying "This is the best icing I've ever had".





Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse Icing

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)
60ml non-dairy milk

Icing Ingredients

165g vegan butter
4 cups icing sugar
40 ml soy or non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa



Method for Cake

Preheat oven to 180C. Line your cupcake tin with wrappers.
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 milk while beating.
Spoon down the sides and beat until smooth.
Spoon into cupcake wrappers around 1/2 - 2/3 full as they will rise and bake for 20mins.
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 5-10 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 pipe.
You can keep in fridge until ready.
To pipe I just use a zip lock bag with a small hole cut at one end then insert the piping tip and hold it as I ice.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Inca Energy Smoothie

This is an energy smoothy for when I ony have bananas in the house. I use Maca powder sometimes which was used widely in the time of the Incas for it's energy. Also rich in amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It used in a lot of raw cooking too and can be found in health food stores.

Inca Energy Smoothie
Ingredients

2 bananas
2 Tbls carob powder
1 tsp Maca powder
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk


Method

Blend all ingredients in a high power blender until smooth.

Notzarella

Not sure if anyone has tried the new Australia vegan cheese Notzarella but I tried it the other day. It was alright, had a similar taste to mozarella and a very similar texture to Cheezly brand. Unfortunately still didn't melt but i've come to accept this from vegan cheeses.

Here's a picture of a pizza a made with Notzarella and vegan sausage.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Tea Room, Gunners' Barracks, Mosman

Last weekend I went to my brother's wedding which was held at the The Tea Room, Gunners' Barracks, Mosman. Besides the place looking like an absolute fairytale and having an amazing view they were also great with the vegan thing. I felt quite special. My gorgeous sister-in-law even ordered vegan bonbonerie for me from some Belgium chocolate factory! I had Broccoli & Almond Soup, Yellow Curry & Sorbet and it was all delicious. Wonderful venue if you are planning a wedding and have loads of cash.