Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Red Lentil Dal

This recipe is from Simple Recipes.


Red Lentil Dal

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils (orange lentils will work as well)
3 cups water
3 plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons grapeseed, vegetable, canola or other high-heat oil
1/2 cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped and made into a paste*
2 teaspoons of Bengali five spice mix (panch phoron) or 1/2 tsp black (or white) sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and (if available) 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1 lime, juiced (equal to about 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice)
8 sprigs cilantro, de-stemmed and chopped
Cooked basmati rice, optional

*To create a garlic paste, finely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt (to act as an abrasive) and crush with the side of a large chopping knife over the mixture until garlic breaks down and becomes paste-like.


Method

Place 1 cup of red lentils in a metal sieve. Rinse well with cold water.
Pour cleaned lentils into a medium sauce pan and add 3 cups of water.
Bring lentils and water to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are cooking, bring a separate small pot of water to a boil.
Score the peel of the tomatoes with a sharp knife in the shape of an "X".
Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch for one minute.
Remove the tomatoes to a bowl to cool.
Once cool, peel the tomatoes and cut out and discard the tough stem end. Chop the tomatoes, or mash them, and set aside.
After the lentils in have cooked at least 5 minutes, start preparing the onions and spices.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the chopped onions.
Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic paste and cook for 1 minute more, stirring continuously, making sure that the garlic does not burn. Add the Bengali five spice and cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
Add bay leaf and turmeric.
To the onions and spices, add the cooked lentils along with the lentil cooking water.
Add salt and cook for 10 minutes.
Add lime juice and tomatoes. Cook for 3-5 more minutes.
Adjust salt if necessary. Stir in chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
Garnish with more chopped cilantro.
Serve with Basmati rice.

Indian Cucumber & Mint Raita

This recipe is courtesy of Gluten Free Vegan Girl.You could substitute coconut cream for silken tofu if you preferred.



Indian Cucumber & Mint Raita

Ingredients

2 cups silken tofu, vegan sour cream, or coconut cream *
1/2 cucumber, grated
3 tbsp minced mint leaves
1 tbsp minced coriander leaves
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp of maldon salt
juice from 1/2 lemon


Method

Place the coconut cream, spices and lemon juice into a bowl and stir properly (or use a hand blender for a smoother result).
Mix in the grated cucumber and herbs, stirring until well-combined.
Garnish with a few mint leaves and serve immediately next to any spicy Indian food.
Left-overs should be stored in the fridge and it will keep for up to 2 days.

*Coconut cream is essentially just full-fat coconut milk that has been stored in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably over-night). Take it out of the fridge and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that you find on the top of the can. The reason for doing this is to allow the added water and coconut mass to separate. All of the water will have gathered at the bottom of the can, which is not going to be used when a recipe calls for coconut cream.

No Yeast Naan Bread

This traditional Indian bread is perfect with any Indian dish. This recipe is from Bhavna's Kitchen on YouTube. Apologies for the terrible photo!!


No Yeast Naan Bread

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour
2 Tbls melted vegan butter
2 Tbls whisked silken tofu/vegan sour cream
1 Tbls minced Garlic
1 tsp baking powder
salt to taste
water as needed
finely chopped coriander


Method

In a bowl, add dry ingredients and mix.
Add in butter, tofu, garlic and coriander.
Add wtaer slowly and mix into a soft dough.
Kneed till soft smooth dough. You might need to sprinkle more flour.
Cover bowl and leave on counter for around 30 minutes.
Remove and kneed for another few minutes.
Take a lemon size ball and flour before rolling.
Rolling on a metal surface is easiest.
Traditionally baked in a tan-door but if you don't have one you can bake in the oven or use a large heavy non stick pot on a high heat.
Pat the rolled out naan with water and place in pot, cover and wait for the big bubbles to appear.
Alternatively you can bake at 500F for 8 minutes on a hot stone.
Flip and bake on the other side.
Brush with melted butter or garlic and butter for Garlic Naan.

Bombay Potatoes

Bombay potatoes are a simple and popular Indian side dish that go with any Indian meal. This recipe is from BBC Foods.


Bombay potatoes

Ingredients

4 tbsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
2 pinches of chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
350g/12oz potatoes, boiled and quartered
salt to taste


Method

Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat setting.
To check that the oil is hot enough, sprinkle in a few mustard seeds, if they pop the oil is ready. Then add the remainder of the mustard seeds.
Add the chilli and turmeric powders to the sizzling seeds, and salt to taste.
Fry this pungent mixture of oil and spices for 1 minute then add the potatoes. Fry for about 4 minutes until the potatoes are smothered in seeds and appear to have crispy edges. They will look quite yellow in colour. Cover the pan and on a low heat, cook the potatoes for a further 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Asparagus, Pear & Quinoa Salad

This is a replica of a salad I had in a restaurant once. It's very light and summery!
You can use any vinaigrette as your dressing and it will work.
This should serve 4-6 people as a side.


Asparagus, Pear & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

2 ripe pears, cored and sliced finely
2 bunches fennel, sliced finely
1 bunch asparagus, sliced finely on the diagonal
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup cooked quinoa


Dressing

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbls chopped garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp  ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil


Method

Toss all salad ingredients together.
Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients except oil.
Whisk until sugar has melted.
Place in a jar with the oil and tighten lid.
Shake until mixed and pour over salad.

Simple Vinaigrette Dressings

These is a simple vinaigrette recipe and variations care of Martha Stewart.

Simple Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of sugar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Method

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over salad.
You can store in an airtight jar in the fridge, shake before serving.


Variations 

Garlic: Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/2 clove crushed.
Balsamic: Substitute balsamic vinegar for the wine vinegar.
Lemon Parmesan: Use fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar; add 1/4 cup finely grated vegan Parmesan.
Scallion: Add 3 chopped whole scallions (about 1/4 cup).
Herb: Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, or tarragon.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Agave Mustard Salad Dressing

This salad dressing is amazing on any salad, especially leafy greens! The original recipe from Nigella Lawson calls for 1 cup of rapeseed/canola oil but I find that too oily.


Agave Mustard Salad Dressing

Ingredients

1/2 cup rapeseed/canola oil
4 Tbls Djion mustard
2 Tbls Agave
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt


Method

Whisk all ingredients together and store in a jar in the fridge, shaking before use.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Hungarian Christmas Honey Cookies (Mézeskalács)

These are a traditional Christmas cookie that my grandmother used to make, similar to gingerbread. Obviously I've substituted the honey :) For an Aussies, they kind of taste to me like Milk Arrowroot bikkies! My icing turned out kind of caramel coloured instead of white because I used dark corn syrup instead of light.
Recipe adapted from The Hungarian Girl.
Icing recipe from Your Daily Vegan.


Hungarian Christmas Honey Cookies (Mézeskalács)

Ingredients

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (115 grams) granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups (435 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
5 tbsp agave
2 egg replacers

Directions

Sift together flour, baking soda, and spices into a large bowl. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer beat butter, sugar and eggs.
In a small pot over high heat, melt honey. Add to mixture and beat well, continue by adding the flour mixture gradually. If dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Gather into ball. Divide in half and flatten into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C) and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it’s 1/8-inch’s thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on baking sheet.
Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
For icing, follow recipe below.
Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Pipe designs on cookies.
Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.

Vegan Royal Icing for Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk substitute (rice milk) or water
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Food coloring as desired


Directions

Mix the confectioners' sugar and milk substitute together until smooth.
Add in the corn syrup and almond extract until the icing is smooth. Add in more corn syrup if the icing is too thick.
Divide the icing into separate containers, and add food colorings as desired. Decorate. You can also add the icing to a ziplock baggie, cut off a corner and pipe out the icing.

Monday, 21 October 2013

My First Halloween Pumpkin

This is my first real American Halloween so it's not wrong to say I was super excited about carving out my own pumpkin! Kind of went with a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme but had a bit of a nose fail. Still looks ok I think though!
Roasted Pumpkin seeds made a delicious snack too!





We went to a place in Utah called Black Forest Farms where they drive you out to the pumpkin patch and you can pick your own pumpkin. Of course I thought I was going to get a huge pumpkin until I realised how heavy and dirty they were...so I ended up with one about the same size as the kids LOL

They had a crazy corn maze there too...





Sunday, 20 October 2013

Mini Tempeh Meatloaf

Original recipe from Vegan Dad blog.


Mini Tempeh Meatloaf
Makes 10 mini meatloaves.
Calories per serve: 214

Ingredients

2x 8.5 oz pkgs tempeh, simmered in boiling water for 10 mins, cooled, then coarsely grated
1 large onion, coarsely grated
4 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 cup gluten free oats, gournd
2/3 cup gluten free gluten substitute
2 tsp ground fennel seed
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp marjoram
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp HP sauce
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp browning sauce (optional)
1/4 cup (or more) water

Glaze
Generous 2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mustard


Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Mix grated tempeh, onion, garlic, oatmeal, flour, and spices in a large bowl.
Add in sauces and oil, and enough water so you are able to mash everything up with your fingers. Knead/mush/mash for a few mins to mix everything well.
Divide dough into 10 pieces and shape into small loaves. Actually, they end up looking like lumps/rocks, not really loaves. Place into oiled pan.
Mix together ingredients for the glaze and spoon evenly on top of each loaf. Make sure the whole loaf is covered.
Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 mins, until glaze darkens.



Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious and a great source of mineral zinc. If you're carving pumpkins this Halloween, don't throw the guts away! Roast your seeds!
If your using them straight from the pumpkin just rinse the guts off and dry them on a paper towel.
A lot of people boil their seeds first but I don't think it's necessary.
Just oil and salt is all you need for plain seeds :)




Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp vegan butter


Method

Preheat oven to 300F.
Melt butter and add seasonings.
In a bowl mix the seeds with all the seasoned butter making sure they are well covered.


Spread evenly over a baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring them around at around the halfway point.
Allow to cool before eating.

Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms have an Italian flavour and are perfect for party appetizers. This is a recipe of my husbands that was adapted from a bunch of different recipes put together.



Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4
Calories per serve 300

Ingredients

15 medium mushrooms
16 oz Veg Mince (I used Helen's Kitchen which was only 12 oz)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1 cup Italian bread crumbs*** (we ended up needing 2 cups of breadcrumbs because the Helen's Kitchen vegan mince is a bit liquidy)
1 egg replacer
4 Tbls vegan butter, melted or soft


Method

Preheat oven to 400F.
Wash and dry mushrooms and pull out stems. Keep the stems to the side.
Place mushrooms stem side up onto a baking tray.
In a food processor add mushroom stems, vegan mince, egg replacer, all the herbs, seasonings and spices.
Mix well then pour mixture into a bowl.
Add the breadcrumbs and butter and mix thoroughly, you want the consistency of cookie dough so that you can mold pieces. If it's too liquidy add more breadcrumbs.
Take a mushroom one at a time and add a small amount to the inside pressing into all the creases.
Take a bit more and mound on top of the mushroom.


Repeat until all are done.
Bake for around 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.


***We used regular GF breadcrumbs and made them Italian by adding the following herbs and spices;

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Tempeh Rounds with Tzatziki Sauce

These are great instead of falafel for gyros or just on there own. I made them too round and not flat enough so they didn't cook all the way through. Original recipe from Vegan Dad blog.


Tempeh Gyros/Kebabs

Ingredients

8.5 oz block of tempeh
1 onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp marjoram
1 tsp ground rosemary
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
oil


Method

Grate tempeh and onion into a large bowl. Add in spices (including parsley) and soy sauce and mix well with a fork. Add flour and mix with fork, then knead with your hands for a minute or so until it all comes together. Add in a little water, if needed.
Heat a small layer of oil in a sauce pan over medium-lo heat. Break off golf ball-sized pieces of the dough mixture. Flatten with the palm of your hand on the countertop to mimic a slice of meat. Fry 2 mins per side.
Serve with chopped tomato, sliced red onion, and tzatziki rolled up in a warmed pita


Vegan Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

1 pkg silken tofu
juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2-3 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Method

Blend tofu, lemon juice, garlic, oil and spices together in a blender, or with an immersion blender in a container.
Place diced cucumber in a towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Add to sauce along with the parsley. Refrigerate until needed.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Vegan & Gluten Free Crackers

These easy crackers are delicious and healthy. This recipe if from Oh She Glows. Doubling the recipe is recommended because they will disappear fast!



Vegan & Gluten-Free Crackers

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour*
3/4 cup almond meal/flour
2 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp olive oil


Method

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients and mix well with spoon.
Knead dough with hands until it comes together.
Shape into a ball.
Place ball of dough on parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
Roll out dough until it’s about 1/8th inch thick, or as thin as you can get it without ripping.
With a pastry wheel or pizza slicer, slice into crackers.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until slightly golden in colour.
Cool on baking sheet for 10 mins. Store in air-tight container once fully cool.


*Note: Other flours might work in substitution for brown rice flour and almond flour, although keep in mind the flavour will change.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Vegan/Gluten Free Sourdough by Silver Sage Bakery

I discovered Silver Sage Bakery at the Boise Markets in Idaho. They make a delicious vegan/gluten free sourdough bread that comes in rolls or a loaf. You can contact them directly for orders.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Halloween Cupcakes

I used the recipes for Chocolate Mud Cupcake and Butter Icing.with Wilton's food coloring (red and yellow).
Marzipan for the ghosts and Wilton's Black Fondant for the bats.
I just rolled out the marzipan and fondant, cut out the rough shapes and then molded with my fingers.


Gazpacho Soup

This is my favourite soup, it's like a soup made out of Pico De Gallo. Original recipe taken from Food Network - The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Gazpacho is a Spanish vegetable soup served cold. It's so light it's perfect for an appetizer.


Gazpacho Soup 

Ingredients

1 Avocado, chopped into cubes
2 Red Bell Peppers
1 container of baby tomatoes
1/2 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 Tbls salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Coriander leaves/Cilantro, chopped (optional)


Method

Ina food processor gently process each vegetable separately but using the pulse button\ until chopped finely but not mushy.
Add vegetables in a large bowl and mix in all other ingredients.
Stir well, pour into airtight container or jug and chill before serving.
Best served the next day so the flavors have time to mingle.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Spanish Sangria

This recipe is from Gimme Some Oven. This serves 4 for a girls night in :)


Spanish Sangria

Ingredients

2 (750 mL) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
1 cup brandy
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1 pound DOLE strawberries, hulled and halved
3 oranges, thinly sliced
3 limes, thinly sliced
2 lemons, thinly sliced
4 cups DOLE fresh arugula
Club soda to top up


Method

Stir together wine, brandy, sugar and orange liqueur in large pitcher, until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the arugula, and use a wooden spoon to mull (crush) the arugula so that the flavor is released. Add strawberries, lime, lemon and orange to the wine mixture, and lightly mull the fruit to release juices.
Cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 2-24 hours.
Stir in as much soda as desired, then strain or leave chunky and serve over ice.


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Unique Hair Dos

Ok so this isn't strictly a vegan related blog but I just thought this website was neat. It has a bunch of unique hair styles and how to do them...UNIQLO Hair Do



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

New Soap - Yaaay!

I've finished up the last of my soap making until after the winter is over. Here are my most recent scents all available on my Etsy store - Soleil Handmade Soap.








A Weekend in Boise, Idaho

I spent last weekend with an old school friend in Boise, Idaho and I have to say it was quite a lovely place. Quite a lot going on there vegan-wise which was great. We visited the mineral hot springs, the Boise farmers markets and went out for pizza...yummy

The Boise Farmer's Markets had a great selection of gluten free/vegan delicacies. 
Guru Donuts had a few vegan donuts, unfortunately not gluten free but my friend said they were delicious! They also have a store in Boise.



The Funky Taco stand at the Boise Farmer's Markets. They have a lot of vegan/gluten free options and use local produce.



The Fat Men is a brand of organic vegan wine through the Holesinsky Winery, Idaho I found at the Boise Farmer's Markets. 



The Springs - Hot Spring Resort...so relaxing



Delicious hot vegan breakfast at Wholefoods Market.



Went for dinner at Flatbread Pizza which did a lovely gluten free vegan pizza (and has locations in Idaho and Utah). They let the kids make their own pizzas which I thought was neat.



Took a wrong turn on the way home but discovered this beautiful lookout at Twin Falls, Idaho.



Monday, 7 October 2013

Fried Green Tomatoes

Being an honorary Southerner I wanted to try Fried Green Tomatoes (also cause the movie was so awesome!) but I've never seen green tomatoes anywhere! Luckily this year we grew our own and have just harvested them while they were green so here they are...
This recipe was adapted from The Southern Vegan.



Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients

3 or 4 large firm green tomatoes
salt
2 cups oil
1 cup soy or almond milk
egg replacer for 1 egg
2 cups GF flour (I used a combination of quinoa, cornmeal, brown rice and amaranth flours)


Method

Slice tomatoes (about 1/4-inch thick) and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
Place tomato slices in a colander for 25-30 minutes. (This allows the salt to pull the water out of the tomatoes).


Mix milk and egg replacer.
Heat oil in a large saucepan
Dip the tomatoes into milk mixture, then coat with flour.
I found I only needed 1 cup of the flour mix for 3 large tomatoes.
Deep-fry until golden brown.
Serve with a horseradish based sauce....I used Follow Your Heart Vegan Horseradish Sauce.