Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Mixed Berry Pie

Simple recipe I made up the other day. Was easy and delicious!
I used 1/2 packet of Orgran Gluten Free Pastry Mix and made it up as per the shortcrust recipe on the back.




Mixed Berry Pie

Ingredients

1/2 packet of Orgran Gluten Free Pastry Mix (as per packet instructions)
500g frozen mixed berried
2 Tbls brown sugar (add more according to taste)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup GF four


Method

Preheat oven to 180C and grease your pie tin. I used baking paper in the bottom of the tin.
When you have your pastry made up split into two.
Place one half in the tin and press down till flat and pinch so it comes up the sides. If you like you can use a rolling pin.
Bake in the oven while you get the berry mix ready.
In a large bowl add berry mix. If still frozen heat in microwave fo 30 seconds.
Mix sugar, vinegar and four with the berries and pour into pie crust.


Use a rolling pin to roll out the remaining pastry into a rough circle.
Place over pie and pinch the sides down.
Use a sharp knife to create some steam slits in the pie.


Back for 1 hour or until pie is cripsp and golden.
Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream.

Vegan Lunchmeat

This recipe comes from Vegan Dad blog, very sadly not being updated anylonger. We miss you!
It makes a log of vegan mock meat perfect for cold meat sandwiches.



Vegan Lunchmeat

Ingredients

1 cup white beans
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
2 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten (I used Organ Gluten Free Gluten Substitute)


Method

Get water steaming in your steamer. I used the steamer in my rice maker but you could just boil water over the stover with a colander in the top.
Place all ingredients except the gluten flour in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Add gluten flour and work into a dough.


Shape dough into a log and wrap in heavy duty foil like a tootsie roll. Try to make the roll as thick as possible. Steam for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180C in the last 15 mins of steaming. Remove seitan from steamer and bake for 45-60 mins. Seitan should swell and press against the foil.
Cool and slice as needed for sandwiches. This seitan holds up very well and can be shaved very thin. Store in the fridge

Magic Chocolate Cake

This recipe comes from Choose Veg. It's pretty much a super easy mudcake using what you already have in your kitchen. I used the Chocolate Butter Cream Icing and garnished with raspberries.

 
 


 Magic Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups GF flour
3/4 cup caster sugar or other sweetener
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup cold water


Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl and stir with a fork until mixed. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water. Stir with a fork until well mixed. Pour into a 9x9-inch baking dish (or cupcake pan), and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely, then frost.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Chocolate Banana Muffins

A great way to use up those slightly overripe bananas that no one wants. This simple recipe comes courtesy of Nigella Lawson.




Chocolate Banana Muffins

Ingredients

3 banana ripe or over ripe
125 ml vegetable oil
2 egg replacers (as per packet instructions)
100 grams soft light brown sugar
225 grams Plain GF flour
45 ml cocoa powder sifted
1 teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda


Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with papers. Don’t worry about getting special papers: regular muffin cases will do the job.
If you're worried about paper sticking then just omit.
Mash the bananas by hand or with a freestanding mixer.Still beating and mashing, add the oil followed by the eggs and sugar.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder and bicarb together and add this mixture, beating gently, to the banana mixture, then spoon it into the prepared papers.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be dark, rounded and peeking proudly out of their cases. Allow to cool slightly in their tin before removing to a wire rack.




Rainbow Layered Cake

I tried this cake and made the mistake of not making enough mixture so it was more of a pancake stack than a cake stack but I have corrected the measurements in the recipe below. It's a fun one to make with kids.




Rainbow Layered Cake

Cake Ingredients

400g self raising flour (or plain flour with 4 tsp baking powder)
250g vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
550g caster sugar
4 egg replacers (as per instructions on packet)
320ml water
Red, Yellow & Blue food colouring.


Icing Ingredients

330g vegan butter
8 cups icing sugar (around 1kg)
80 ml soy or non-dairy milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method for Cake

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease your baking tin and line with baking paper. 
If you have many of exactly the same shaped cake tins then it will save time to use them all.
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.
Divide mixture into 6 bowls evenly.
Add food colouring as desired to each bowl (you want purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red).


Mix through colouring thoroughly and bake each cake for 20 mins or until a knife comes out clean.
Once all cakes are cooked allow to completely cool before applying the icing.
Divide icing into two bowls as one will be reserved for the top and sides.
Start with the purple as the bottom layer and add your icing using a spatula to the top then place your blue layer in top and repeat.
Once you have the top red layer add the remaining icing completely covering the top and sides.


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.
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.

Agedashi Tofu


This recipe comes from Just one Cookbook blog. Agedashi tofu is a traditional deep fried tofu dish served with dashi-based sauce. Various vegetables and mushrooms can be added in the sauce.



Agedashi Tofu

Ingredients

1 block meduim firm tofu (momen tofu)

Corn flour/starch for dusting
1 green onion, chopped finely
1 Tbsp daikon radish, grated (optional)
Japanese chilli flakes (optional)
vegetable oil for frying.

Sauce

1 cup dashi stock
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used Tamari)
2 Tbsp mirin

Method

Drain tofu for 5-10mins on a plate.
Cut tofu into large or small pieces (depending on preference).
In a small saucepan heat dashi, mirin and soy sauce. Once heated through on a medium heat, set aside.
In a large frying pan add oil (deep pr shallow frying as per preference).
Once oil is boiling dredge tofu in corn flour and fry evenly so that all sides are golden brown.
Remove and place on paper towel.
In a serving bowl place the tofu and pour over sauce and add desired garnishes.



Rice Bubble Treats

A simple slice recipe for kids parties or adults who don't know how to limit their refined sugar intake, like myself. You can omit the icing sugar for this recipe as well, I mainly used it because my marshmallows were a bit liquidy. They were a bit sweet but were solid enough if kept cold.



Rice Bubble Treats

Ingredients

3 Tbls vegan margarine
6 cups rice bubbles/krispies (I used Freedom gluten free)
1 cup icing sugar


Method

Melt butter on a low heat in a large saucepan.
Add marshmallows and allow to melt down into a syrup.
Stir in icing sugar until melted.
Pour into heat proof bowl with rice bubbles and mix well by hand.
Pour mixture into a large baking tray with high sides – best covered in baking paper and lightly greased.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is best.
Remove from fridge, lift out onto chopping board and cut into squares.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Roast Capsicum, Onion & Rosemary "Quiche"


I made this recipe up yesterday and I was really impressed with how it turned out! Usually my first attempts are tragic but this time the vegan gods smiled on me :)
If you have any vegan grated cheese, this would taste amazing as well.


Roasted Capsicum, Onion & Rosemary Quiche

Ingredients

750g firm tofu
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped)
2 spring onions, finely chopped (the ones with the big white bulbs, not skinny ones)
2 Tbls fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 medium jar roasted capsicum, drained)
1 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls nutritional yeast
250g vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
½ cup gluten free flour
2 egg replacers (as per packet instructions)
2 tsp salt

Crust;
2 cups gluten free flour
2 Tbls vegan margarine (I used Nuttalex)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)


Method

Preheat oven to 180C.
In bowl combine crust flour and margarine and rub between your fingers until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Add the amount of milk you think it needs, should still be crumbly but should compact well to form dough.
Pour mixture into a greased pie tin. (I also put baking paper on the bottom).
If you have a spring form tin that works the best cause it's easier to get the quiche out at the end.
Place in oven for 10-15mins to crisp up.
Ina large frying pan heat olive oil on a medium heat and add onions and garlic.
Once onion is clear and cooked through add capsicum and heat through.
Crumble in the tofu (or break up in a food processor) and add to pan. Allow to heat through and then remove from heat.
Once mixture is cool enough to touch mix in remaining ingredients until combined. I use my hands.
Pour mixture into the pie tin and press down firmly on the surface. 
Bake for an hour at 180. Or until cooked through and browned slightly.



Monday, 18 February 2013

Vegan Marshmallows

Got this recipe for vegan marshmallows from BBC Food and just replaced the gelatine for Vegeset. Anyone who's bought vegan marshmallows will know they are SUPER expensive and it's quite cheap to make your own. So they turned out more like jelly/turkish delight than marshmallows in the consistency anyway - taste wise they are marshmallows. It doesn't actually say in the recipe but I think maybe you're supposed to add the cornflour and icing sugar when you're food processing. Might try this next time! Might see if I can turn these into something else...



Vegan Marshmallows


Ingredients

2 x 7g sachets powdered vegan gelatine (I used Vegeset)
450g/1lb caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sunflower oil
50g/2oz icing sugar, plus extra for dredging
50g/2oz cornflour, plus extra for dredging


Method

Place the gelatine and 100ml/3½fl oz of cold water into a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until softened.
Meanwhile, pour the sugar and 175ml/6fl oz of cold water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a rolling boil on a medium to high heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture gently for 15-20 minutes, until a sugar thermometer dipped into the mixture reads 113C/235F. (NB: At this temperature, the sugar syrup will have reached the soft-ball stage.)
CAUTION: This mixture is extremely hot and can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.
As soon as the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, place the softened gelatine and water into the bowl of a food mixer and blend on its lowest setting. Gradually pour in the sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream, avoiding pouring the sugar syrup on the beaters as it may splash. Whisk continuously until all of the syrup has been fully incorporated in the mixture.
Add the vanilla extract, then increase the blending speed and blend for 18-20 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened, cooled and is beginning to set.
Meanwhile, grease a 20cm/8in square, deep-sided cake tin with some of the sunflower oil. Line the tin baking parchment and grease the paper with the remaining oil. Mix together the icing sugar and cornflour and dust the tin with a little of the mixture to evenly coat the base and sides. Reserve the remaining icing sugar and cornflour mixture for later.
Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a palette knife or spatula that has been dipped in boiling water. Dust the top of the marshmallows with a little more of the icing sugar and cornflour mixture, then cover the tin with cling film and set aside in a cool, dry place for 1-2 hours or overnight to set. (NB: Do not chill in the fridge.)



Once the marshmallow mixture has set, turn out the marshmallow slab onto a clean work surface dusted with the remaining icing sugar and cornflour mixture. Peel off the parchment paper and cut the marshmallow into 36 cubes. Dredge the marshmallows in the icing sugar and cornflour mixture to coat, or coat one or more sides in the chopped nuts, flower petals or coloured sugar for decoration. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to three weeks.

Vegan Chocolate - First Attempt

I got this very simple homemade chocolate recipe from Oh She Glows blog and my first attempt was a bit lame. It tasted fantastic but just didn't mix together as well as hoped in the blender so it didn't look very pretty. I didn't read her note about not using the blender - oops!


Easy Homemade Vegan Chocolate

Ingredients

120 grams cacao/cocoa butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup room-temperature pure maple syrup (I used golden syrup cause it was all I had but still tasted fine)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
Flaked sea salt, for finishing


Method 

Note: I’ve changed the directions to omit the blending process. The blender seems to yield a softer, thicker mixture while simply mixing by hand resulted in a firmer chocolate that poured easily. I much preferred the chocolate when mixing by hand.

1. Gently melt the cacao butter in a pot over the lowest heat setting. Or you can use a double boiler.

2. Whisk all other ingredients (except flaked sea salt)  into the pot.

3. Pour into 12 silicone cups and sprinkle with flaked sea salt (optional). Alternatively, you can use paper liners (they will stick a tiny bit but will still peel off) or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop spoonfuls all over the paper. Plastic chocolate molds may stick.

4. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. Pop chocolate out of the cups and enjoy immediately. Store in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

With raisins and nuts...


Nacho Cheese Dip

This dip is a nacho flavoured cheese dip using Maple Spice's Homemade Cheese Slice recipe and mixed with salsa. If you have some of the slices made up already (even if frozen) just melt in the pan with the salsa.



Nacho Cheese Dip


Ingredients

30g vegan butter (2 Tbsp) I used Nuttalex.
30g plain GF flour (3 Tbsp)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (240ml) - I used rice milk
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp tomato paste (puree).
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
1/2 sachet VegeSet (12g)
1 jar salsa


Method

Place the nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder in a mortar and pestle and grind until the yeast is a fine powder (I just used a blender). Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the flour and vege-gel.

In another bowl whisk together the soy milk and tomato paste until the paste dissolves. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk really well until no lumps appear.

In a small saucepan add the vegan butter then pour over the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high (I used my smallest element on high heat) and whisk all the while until the butter melts and incorporates into the mixture. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and changes from a somewhat nothing colour to a vibrant orange. You can now change to a wooden spoon and keep stirring until nice and thick. It took 3 minutes for mine to get the the wooden spoon stage and another 3 minutes of simmering once thick. I kept the heat on high but again, I used my smallest element here.

Add in the salsa and transfer to serving bowl. Serve with corn chips or pour over nachos.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Soba Noodle Soup

This is another recipe from "Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat" by Naomi Moriyama. The dish is meant to be eaten cold but I find it just as good hot. Just make sure the soba noodles you buy are 100% buckwheat if gluten is an issue for you. Some brands contain wheat.



Soba Noodle Soup

Ingredients

450ml Japanese dashi** or vegan fish stock (dashi is more subtle but more fiddly)
100ml mirin
100ml soy
350g dried soba noodles
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
100g finely grated daikon radish (optional)
2 Tbls ground white sesame seeds (optional)
Wasabi (fresh or from tube)
1 square nori sheet, torn into thin ribbons (optional)


Method

Combine fish stock, mirin and soy sauce in a medium saucepan over a high heat and bring to boil.


Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook soba noodles as per packet instructions.



After cooking, rinse thoroughly and drain.
To serve place a portion of noodles in a bowl, cover in soup and place all garnishes in small bowls on the side so everyone can choose according to taste.



** Dashi is a Japanese soup/dipping sauce base made from seaweed and bonito flakes.
To make Japanese dashi (or soup base) take a 10cm x 10cm piece of kombu seaweed and add to 1 litre of cold water.

Bring to almost boil and immediately remove kombu to avoid bitterness.
Add vegan fish flakes (such as dulse flakes) or just use vegan fish stock.
Bring to boil and take off heat, allowing to sit for a few minutes.

Drain liquid through a sieve lined with muslin to remove flakes and prevent stock from becoming cloudy. (Personally if I'm just using dulse flakes I'll leave them in the soup base because they have a lot of nutritional value.)
Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Japanese Tofu-Carrot Dish

This recipe comes from the book "Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat" by Naomi Moriyama.



Japanese Tofu-Carrot Dish

Ingredients

2 x packet (8 x 13cm) of usu-age tofu (thin fried tofu) - I used Soyco Japanese Style
2 Tbls sake/rice vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp soy (I used tamari)
1 tsp salt
1 tbls vegetable oil
6 medium carrots, chopped into matchsticks (or grated)
1 Tbls white sesame seeds (I used chia seeds)
2 tsp sesame oil


Method

Squeeze out extra liquid from the tofu and then slice thinly on the diagonal.
In a small bowl mix together sake, sugar, salt & soy until sugar is disolved.
In a large prying pan heat the vegetable oil on a mendium-high heat and fry the tofu and carrots for 3 minutes, until carrots are soft and tofu is browned.
Add the soy mixture and reduce heat to low-medium until thoroughly mixed through and liquid is reduced.
Remove from heat and stir through sesame oil and seeds before serving.

Japanese "Egg" Soup

I'm having a bit of a Japanese theme this weekend so I'm dusting off all my favourite recipes and attempting to veganise them. This egg soup recipe was my favourite from a cooking class I took many years ago. The taste was very similar but the look is slightly different because with the original the egg cooks in ribbons where as tofu is less hospitable. If there is such a thing as vegan fish stock then use it in place of the fish paste and fish sauce (in relation to amount of water that is needed)



Japanese "Egg" Soup

Ingredients

3 tps vegan fish paste
1 Tbls vegan fish sauce
3 1/2 cups water
1 small packet of silken tofu
2 egg replacers (as per packet instructions)
1 Tbls soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1 Tbls cooking sake (or Japanese rice wine)
1 tsp potato starch mixed with 2 tsp water
2 shallots (spring/green onions) chopped
salt to taste
Chilli flakes (optional)


Method

Bring the water and stock to boil in a medium - large saucepan.
Stir in soy sauce and sake.
Add potato starch mix and stir quickly.
In a medium bowl whisk egg replacers with silken tofu & shallots, adding more water if needed for that "beaten egg" consistency.
Continue stirring the soup (creating kind of a gentle whirlpool) as you pour in the tofu mixture.
Once warmed through serve, adding more salt if needed or chilli flakes if you prefer it hotter.



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

This recipe came from All Recipes. It is very light yet filling, bursting with flavour yet healthy. YUM!
I used dried Black Turtle Beans that had been soaked for 24 hours then boiled for 45 mins then simmered for 15mins.
This is great as a side, main or lunch type salad.


Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

Ingredients

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels (or tinned)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or fresh)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Method

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir frozen corn & black beans into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through.
Mix in the cilantro and serve.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Valentine's Day

There are loads of DIY Valentine's Day ideas out there and I think they are more thoughtful option.

Here's an easy one from the vault!

Top-Deck Chocolate Hearts with Handmade Origami Card

 



Black Turtle Bean Curry

Had some Black Turtle Beans I wanted to use up and I adapted this from a recipe on the Nigella Lawson website (via a guest). This very mild curry is very healthy and simple. I soaked my turtle beans for 24 hours.



Black Turtle Bean Curry

Ingredients

250g Black turtle beans
250g Green lentils (I used red rentils)
Pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
50ml olive oil
57g vegan butter (I used Nuttalex)
1 garlic (sliced or chopped)
1 tspblack cumin (I used regular cumin)
1 bunch Fresh coriander


Method

Wash the beans and put them into a big pot with a lid.
Pour in water to cover the beans, plus an extra two inches.
Add the salt and spices (except cumin). If you like garlic, add a few whole cloves now.
Cover the pot and leave to cook.
Every 15 mins or so, check that the water level hasn't gone down too much and give the beans a little stir. Add more water if needed.
Heat on high for the first 45 minutes, then just a simmer for the last 15 minutes.
Check that the beans are soft and cooked all the way.
In the last 130 mins of the black beans cooking, put on your green lentils (15 mins if you are using red).
Once both beans and lentils are done, drain lentils only well and mix together with the black beans.
In a frying pan heat the olive oil, butter, garlic and cumin seeds.
Heat gently until the garlic is golden brown.
Carefully add all of this into the bean mixture.
Now add all of the chopped coriander.
Serve this with pappadums and basmati rice.

Tofu & Carrot with Fish Paste

I had some vegan fish paste that I wanted to use up and I came across this recipe from Lily's Best Blogspot. I changed it a bit but the result was actually very yummy. I was eating it hot and cold.




Tofu & Carrot with Fish Paste

Ingredients 
1 box Silken/Soft Tofu (I used firm and crumbled it)
1 Tbls Vegan Fish Paste
3 carrots, grated
1/2 pack bean sprouts
1 Tbls vegan fish sauce (you could use soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead)
White ground pepper
Sesame oil
Chopped spring onions

 
Method 
In a large bowl, put the silken/soft tofu and the fish paste and mash the two together until they are combined.  
Mix through carrot and spring oniongs.
Transfer contents into a frying pan with some seaseme oil on medium-high for about 10mins.  
Drizzle with fish sauce, white ground pepper and sesame oil and stir through bean sprouts.
Once heated through remove from heat and serve with rice. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Malaysian Laksa

I found this great recipe for laksa on the SBS Food website. Here's the original.
They make a spiced paste from scratch but I used vegan laksa paste and added the green onions. It was more like the laksa you buy than the other recipe I've used.



Malaysian Laksa

Ingredients

3 Tbls vegan laksa paste
4 green onions (shallots), sliced on the diagonal
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 litre vegetable stock
1 can coconut cream
Vegan fishballs (optional)
Fried tofu puffs
1 packet dried mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 bunch bok choy (or asian vegetable or choice), washed and leaves separated
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbls vegan fish sauce (I find Braggs Liquid Aminos works well as a substitute)
Juice of 1 lime
Rice vermicelli noodles
1 packet Bean sprouts
Red chilli, sliced (optional)
Coriander leaves
Fresh lime wedges


Method


In a large bowl cover dried mushrooms in boiling water and leave to soak.
In a large pot heat oil and 1/2 the green onions and fry the laksa paste for about 2 minutes and pour in the stock.
Bring to the boil and then add coconut cream. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add fish balls , mushrooms and fried tofu until heat through.
Add sugar, fish sauce and salt to taste.
Add bok choy and just heat through.
Squeeze in the lime.
Blanch rice noodles in boiling water and transfer some of each to serving bowls.
Garnish with the spring onions, chilli, coriander. Squeeze in the lime before eating.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Popcorn

I do love me some popcorn. Whether it's at homemade, microwaved or at the cinema it's nice to know where your vegan options lie! Here are some vegan popcorns I've found and I'll keep adding to the list.
Here's a recipe for Party Popcorn.

Hoyts Cinema popcorn - vegan!!

Coles brand microwave popcorn - vegan!

Events Cinema popcorn is also vegan - I checked the ingredients myself last time I was there.

I've read online comments that say that Palace & Village Cinemas popcorn is vegan also. 


Guzman Y Gomaz

You may have seen Guzman Y Gomez around the place, mainly as a take away place or in a food court but for take away Mexican this place is pretty good. They have heaps of gluten free and vegan options. Even their guacamole is vegan - Amen! And all the condiments are free!

Some of the more restauranty locations (like Crows Nest) are licenced with Mexican beers and frozen margraitas & sangria - yum!

Frozen sangria

Vegan & gluten free soft tacos with guacamole, coriander, hot sauce and jalapenoes - YUM

Last Train to Bombay

I've been the Last Train to Bombay a couple of times and it is really divine Indian. They are really good with allergies too. I always ask them to use oil instead of ghee and to show what on the menu is gluten free. The service is very attentive!




Warm Pumpkin and Brown Lentil Salad

This recipe is from Taste.com and is delicious warm or cold and sooo healthy! I substituted their rocket lettuce for English spinach.



Warm Pumpkin and Brown Lentil Salad
Ingredients

1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded
olive oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 x 400g cans brown lentils, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bunch English spinach


Method 
Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut pumpkin into 1.5cm-thick slices. Roughly chop. Arrange on an oven tray. Spray both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add lentils and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Shake pan gently to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Combine lentil mixture, pumpkin and rocket. Whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Drizzle over salad. Divide between plates.

Note: My tip for peeling pumpkin is with a sharp vegetable peeler. Quicker, easier and you'll end up with more pumpkin.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Rum and Raisin Chocolate Clusters

I had a small amount of chocolate left over from some cooking but I thought it was a bit bitter to eat on it's own so I made these little clusters.



Rum and Raisin Chocolate Clusters
Ingredients

50g dark chocolate
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp rum
1 Tbls vegan butter (I used Nuttalex)


Method

In a medium saucepan, heat the chocolate and butter on a low heat, stirring continuously, until melted together.
Stir through rum and raisins until completely covered in chocolate.
Spoon out small amounts and place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Don't let them touch.
Refrigerate for 30mins or until set.

Chocolate Cake with Fondant

This was for a very special friend of mine who turned 13. I made her the Best Chocolate Cake last year and she was too sick to eat it so her brother very kindly ate it all before she was well enough to try it. This year I made the same cake base but used fondant icing instead of butter icing.

I took a 10cm x 8cm block of fondant and microwaved it for 20 seconds. Then I kneaded in the food colouring and rolled it out on some baking paper and then cut the circle out. Once the cake cooled I placed the circle of fondant on top. If you want the sides done too you need to make sure the fondant is still warm when you place it over the cake or else the icing will crack. I just used Queen's writing icing to pretty up the sides and write with and sprinkled over the decoration.

Homemade Cheese Slices

I had half success and half fail with this lovely cheese slice recipe from Maple Spice called Vegan Unprocessed Cheese Slices. We don't have Veg-Gel so I tried it with Just Wholefoods VegeSet but it wouldn't set properly (ended up freezing them instead). I might retry it with Agar Agar Powder.

I put on the base of my pizza...



Homemade Cheese Slices
Yields 6 large slices.

Ingredients

30g vegan butter (2 Tbsp) I used Nuttalex.
30g plain GF flour (3 Tbsp)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (240ml) - I used rice milk
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp tomato paste (puree).
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
1 sachet VegeSet (6g)


Method

Line a baking tray with cling film so that it overhangs enough that you can cover the top.
Place the nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder in a mortar and pestle and grind until the yeast is a fine powder (I just used a blender). Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the flour and vege-gel.

In another bowl whisk together the soy milk and tomato paste until the paste dissolves. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk really well until no lumps appear.

In a small saucepan add the vegan butter then pour over the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high (I used my smallest element on high heat) and whisk all the while until the butter melts and incorporates into the mixture. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens and changes from a somewhat nothing colour to a vibrant orange. You can now change to a wooden spoon and keep stirring until nice and thick. It took 3 minutes for mine to get the the wooden spoon stage and another 3 minutes of simmering once thick. I kept the heat on high but again, I used my smallest element here.

With a rubber spatula scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out with a knife until it fills the pan and is nice and even. Take the overhanging cling film and cover the top, pressing down slightly just to get it all nice and even.





Chill until set, it'll take a couple of hours. Peel back the cling film then lift out of the pan and place on a chopping board. Slice into 6 large slices then they are ready to use.

Keep leftover slices on individual pieces of baking paper and covered with cling film in the fridge.
I found it easiest to get them onto bread by picking up the paper and placing them down onto the sandwich then removing the paper.

Great on toast under the grill...