Thursday, 30 January 2014

Hasselback Potatoes

Inspired by the recipe for Vegan Lobster Tail on Tasha Edwards aka The Sweetest Vegan YouTube page. She is the cutest!!


Hasselback Potatoes

Ingredients

1 large potato of choice
2 cloves garlic, pressed into a paste
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbls vegan butter
1 Tbls olive oil
Extra olive oil


Method

Heat oven to 400F/200C.
Slice the potato thinly but not all the way to the bottom.
Place in a bowl of ice water until oven is ready.
Dry off potato, place on baking tray lined with foil, slits facing up.
Try to gently spread apart the cuts and drizzle a small amount of the extra olive oil.
Bake in oven for 40-60 minutes until soft in the middle and crispy brown on top.


While it's baking place butter, olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a small saucepan and heat on low-medium until the butter is melted and garlic starts to caramlise.
Once the potato is done transfer to a plate and drizzle with the butter sauce.
So naughty but so delicious!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

White Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadilla

Great simple recipe for quick lunches or snacks! I adapted this recipe from Vegan Richa.
This will make 2 large or 4 small quesadillas.


White Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadilla

Ingredients

1 can great northern White beans 15 oz or about 1.5 cups cooked
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsps taco seasoning of choice
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp each of oregano and parsley
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional or to taste)
1 Avocado, sliced or mashed (or guacamole)
Vegan pepper jack or homemade pepper jack, shredded
Corn Tortillas


Method

Wash and drain the beans.
Toss the beans with the spices and salt in a bowl and keep, I processed them all smooth in a food processor.
Brush a little oil on the tortilla on one side and place on the grill.
You want your heat on a low-medium.
Add bean mix, cheese and avocado - unless you want to top finished quesadilla with avocado.
Top with another tortilla or fold.
Grill on both sides until the cheese melts. Around 3 minutes on each side.
You can make them before you put them on the grill if you like.
Serve with your choice of toppings...taco sauce, Tabasco, vegan sour cream, salsa etc



Monday, 27 January 2014

"Crab" & Avocado Salad

I adapted this from Leslie Durso's recipe. Serves 2 as main and 4 as side.


"Crab" & Avocado Salad

Ingredients

1 can of hearts of palm, drained and rinsed
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbls agave
1 large avocado, diced
2 tomato, thinly sliced


Method

Mix mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning an agave together in a small bowl.
Slice the hearts of palm thinly.
In a large bowl add red onion, hearts of palm and celery.
Add in the mayonnaise mixture and mix well.
Stir in diced avocado gently.
On a plate decorated your tomato slices around and place salad on top.
I think cilantro would be amazing to top it off!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits are usually made for ANZAC Day (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) in April but I made these for Australia Day Recipe from Vegan Easy. As you can see I had a slight fail and they all merged into a large cookie but I just broke them up like peanut brittle. They were delicious...and the kids loved them. Apparently similar to oatmeal cookies.


ANZAC Biscuits

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 cup gluten free plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup vegan sugar
2/3 cup vegan margarine
2 tablespoons golden syrup (you can replace with treacle or molasses)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp boiling water


Method

Heat oven to 180 C. Grease 2 baking trays.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, coconut and sugar.
Melt the margarine and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat.
Place the bicarbonate of soda into a small bowl and mix with the boiling water. Add this mixture to the melted margarine and syrup.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Roll the mixture into balls (slightly smaller than golf ball size).
Place on baking trays and flatten slightly.
Bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.
They will still be very soft when you remove them from the oven so let them cool slightly on the tray first before placing on a cooling rack.

BB Crème

I am loving Derma e's BB Crème., thanks to the recommendation from Vegan Beauty Review. It has great coverage but it is not too heavy. All the products from Derma e are vegan...yay!!!


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Creamy Asparagus Soup

I adapted this from a recipe on Nourished Kitchen.


Creamy Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

2 pounds asparagus
1 large leek
1 quart vegan chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 cup softened cashew nuts or vegan cream/sour cream


Method

Pour stock into a large stock pot and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.
Chop asparagus and leeks and fry in butter on a medium heat for about one minute, or until fragrant.
Remove bay leaf from stock, add salt and pepper and stir in the sauteed leek and asparagus.
Simmer over medium heat for twenty minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Turn off the heat, stir in cashew nuts/cream and puree the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth.
Serve immediately



Saturday, 18 January 2014

Coffee & Brown Sugar Scrub

I'm starting to try and make my world a little more DIY, part through necessary frugality and part because I figure natural ingredients have got to be better for your skin and general health than a bunch of chemicals I know nothing about. So I've started off simple like and am trying to slowly exchange all the products I use in the house.

That all being said the product I made today was Coffee & Brown Sugar Scrub. I've heard coffee and coffee berry serums are used a lot for super expensive anti aging formulas (like Priori) so I figure why not just try it with the ground stuff. I know it probably doesn't work that way but I'm going with my logic anyway. And after now hitting my mid 30's I decided instead of plastering my skin with make up maybe I'll try and make my skin look as good as possible instead...emphasis on try :)

This scrub was so lovely, it scrubbed the absolute crap out of my skin for which I was most thankful...my skin came out feeling so soft and rejuvenated. It's been feeling quite disgusting lately with the cold, dry weather.



Coffee & Brown Sugar Scrub

Ingredients

1 Tbls ground coffee beans (not instant, obviously lol)
1 Tbls vegan brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice or water


Method

Mix into a paste and gently (or roughly) rub in a circular motion around your face and neck area.
Rinse well. A voila! Beautiful soft skin...naturally.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Cocktail Sauce

Perfect for Sophie's Kitchen Crumbed Vegan Prawns :)
Recipe from the Food Network.
In Australia our cocktail is creamier so sometimes I will add 1-2Tbls vegan mayo.


Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbls horseradish (I used Follow Your Heart Vegan Horseradish Sauce)
Dash vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, squeezed
Tabasco sauce, to taste


Method

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until combined.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Baked Beetroot and Quinoa Salad

I adapted this recipe from one I found in InStyle Magazine.


Baked Beetroot and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

2 Tbls canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme (or a sprig of fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 large beets OR a bunch of golden baby beets and a bunch of red baby beets
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbls sherry vinegar (I used dry sherry and red wine vinegar)
1 Tbls agave
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 oz arugula or baby spinach (I used a salad combination I had of kale, carrots and red cabbage)
2 Tbls roasted sunflower seeds (optional)


Method

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
In medium pot heat canola oil on a medium heat and fry onions until soft.
Add quinoa and stir well.
Add 2 cups water and bring to boil.
Add in garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Mix well and cover.
Simmer for 15 minutes. (Now prepare your beets).
Turn off flame, add in lemon juice, zest, and salt and mix through. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
If your using large beets then peel skin and chop into bite size pieces and stir 2 Tbls olive oil through.
Place beets in a foil package and cook on a baking sheet in oven for 30-40 minutes, until beets are soft.
If you are using baby beets, remove stems and rub with olive oil.
Place beets in a foil package and cook on a baking sheet in oven for 30-40 minutes, until beets are soft.
Once cooked run under cool water and then remove skin.
In a large bowl whisk together 3 Tbls olive oil, agave, mustard and vinegar.
Toss beets through the dressing and let marinate for 1 hour.
Combine quinoa, salad and beets together.
Top with roasted sunflower seeds.



Some New & Favourite Vegan Things....

I wanted to share with you some of my new vegan (and gluten free) discoveries! It's makes me so happy to see all the vegan options out there now :)

I got this seasoning from Red Robin - it was around $4 and it's amazing on potatoes/fries.
I have a sneaking suspicion it will be amazing in the coating for fake chicken nuggets as well!
PLEASE NOTE: this product is no longer vegan as they started adding sugar to the ingredients :(



Most pasta sauces, although seemingly vegan, use sugar and my guess is not the vegan variety so it's nice to have these pasta sauces to choose from....

I heard someone on the vegan grapevine talking about Victoria Vegan Vodka Pasta Sauce so I had a look at Wholefoods Market. These two Alfredo sauces were the only two I could find but the website says there are 10 to choose from!



I found this at Wholefoods Market as well...Cucina Antica slow cook their tomato cooking sauce in small batches to retain they flavour, which can be used for pasta/pizza etc. It contains all natural ingredients and no sugar! Yay!



I had been trouble find a vegan brand of cleanser that actually foamed and removed ALL my make up. I love my Tarte Amazonian Clay Mascara soooooo much but it was almost like waterproof mascara, really difficult to get off. 
I was recommended this Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash by the employee at Wholefoods and it did not disappoint. I didn't even need to use make up remover and my skin felt amazing! An foam, glorious foam! :)



I'd been looking for a new pore scrub that wasn't made by an evil multinational. I loved my St Ives one but it's now owned by Unilever who fund a lot of animal testing so no more St Ives for me.
I love Yes to Carrots products so I thought I'd try the Yes to Tomato Pore Scrub and I really like it. I like that it's not cream based as well.



I love Sophie's Kitchen Vegan Seafood! It's hard enough to find decided faux meats but especially when they need to be gluten free. All Sophie's Kitchen Products are vegan and gluten free. There is a great range and apparently they even have smoked salmon now! (Although I've yet to find it).



Ok so LÄRABAR isn't new but I wanted to mention them anyway because I love them SOY much. 
They taste amazing and are all natural raw bars. Great for kids.
We always keep them around for snacks, car trips or even meals on the go. There are a couple that aren't vegan because they contain chocolate chips but they are all gluten free.
There are only a few ingredients per bar and they are the only company I know that shows the pictures of their ingredients on the website instead of listing them.
The vegan ones are; Apple Pie, Banana Bread, Blueberry Muffin, Cappuccino, Carrot Cake, Cashew Cookie, Cherry Pie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Coconut Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Bar, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Peanut Butter Cookie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie & Snickerdoodle!



Sunday, 12 January 2014

Crispy Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Currents and Parsley

I got this recipe from InStyle magazine. I think it would taste just as good with the cauliflower just blanched and not deep fried (for health reasons as well) but it tasted pretty good.
I used sliced almonds instead of pine nuts because that's what I had :)
Serves 4 as a side dish.


Crispy Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Currents and Parsley

Crispy Cauliflower Ingredients;
5 cups canola oil (for frying)
1 large head of cauliflower, broken up into small florets
1 cup GF flour (I used brown rice)
3 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pink or black pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper

Salad;
Handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Handful currents
Handful roasted pine nuts

Dressing;
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbls agave
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
pinch ground black pepper


Method

In a large pot boil some water.
In a large bowl have some iced water ready.
In another large pot heat the canola oil.
Add florets to boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove and place in iced water.
In a large zip-lock bag mix together the flour, salt, pink pepper and white pepper.
Drain florets and add them to the flour mix. Zip the bag and shake well.
Once the florets are covered, place them into the oil.
You might want to do this in batches as the oil can bubble over.
Try not to get the extra flour that is sitting at the bottom of the bag in the oil.
Fry for 5 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile in a large bowl mix the parsley, currents and pine nuts together.
In a small bowl whisk dressing ingredients together.
Mix dressing through the salad.
Once florets are ready, remove from oil and place on paper towel until cooled slightly.
Add to the salad and mix well so that the cauliflower is coated in the dressing.







Tom Kha (Thai Coconut Soup)

This is one of my favourite soups. I didn't really feel like this recipe had the full Tom Kha experience I wanted but it was ok. I'm on the hunt for a another recipe...feel free to recommend some! Recipe adapted from Tasty Yummies.


Tom Kha Gai  (Thai Coconut Soup)
serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups vegan chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 15-ounce can full-fat organic coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces and pounded to really release the flavors
6 kaffir lime leaves
6 thin slices fresh galangal root (or ginger)
2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (or soy sauce)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 cup firm tofu, diced (optional, you could also add in vegan chicken or shrimp, etc)
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup thai basil, roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbls agave or sugar


Method

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, add in the coconut milk, lemongrass, kaffir lime limes, galangal, mushrooms, bell pepper, red onion, fish sauce, lime juice, chili flakes, sugar and optional tofu (or vegan meat).
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add in the diced tomato and stir.
Just before serving add in the thai basil and cilantro.
Ladle into bowls and serve immediately, topped with additional chopped cilantro, thai basil and maybe some thinly sliced green onions.

Turkish Stuffed Bell Peppers

This makes quite a lot and I am only estimating the amount of bell pepper to fill...so you may want more. For if it's just for a couple of people halve or quarter the recipe. I usually just use this recipe for the leftover rice after making Stuffed Vine Leaves.


Turkish Stuffed Bell Peppers/Capsicum

Ingredients

8 Red or Yellow bell peppers/capsicums, cut in half and insides removed.

Stuffing;

4 cups uncooked white or brown rice
1/2 white onion, chopped finely
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped finely
2 large tomatoes, chopped finely (or 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, liquid removed)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1x 170g tin tomato paste
1 1/2 litres water
Juice of 3 lemons (reserve 1/4 cup)
1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped finely
1/2 bunch of mint, chopped finely
Vegan grated cheese (optional)


Method

Preheat oven to 350F/180C
Mix rice with onion, tomatoes, peppers, salt, pepper, herbs & lemon juice (reserving 1/4 cup).
In a separate bowl mix together the water, tomato paste and reserved lemon juice.
In a large saucepan add the rice and water mixture. (You could also do this in a rice maker).
Bring to boil then turn down heat to a simmer until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed.
Take off heat and mix through vegan cheese if using.
Place bell pepper halves on a baking tray.


Scoop in the rice mixture, pack it in , then top with more cheese if desired.
Bake in oven for 30 mins or until cheese and bell pepper have browned a bit.
Serve as a starter or a main with salad.




Hot and Sour Soup

I added some things to this recipe that I got from the The Fat Free Vegan who changed it up from a Kathy Hester recipe. I feel like the chicken broth was a bit heavy so I would only use 1 Tbls next time.


Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients

10 oz sliced mushrooms
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
8-ounce (225g) can bamboo shoots, drained and jullienned
4 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounce (420g) package firm or silken tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons (16g) grated fresh ginger, divided
4 cups (940ml) water
2 tablespoons (16g) vegan chicken-flavored bouillon
2 tablespoons (30ml) soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten-free)
1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling (Susan’s note: I didn’t need the extra)
1 teaspoon chili paste
2 tablespoons (30ml) rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups (225g) fresh or frozen peas
1 packet bean sprouts
1/2 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro


Method

Combine the mushrooms, bamboo, shoots, garlic, tofu, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, water, bouillon, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste and vinegar into a large saucepan and bring to boil.
Turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Alternatively you can cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker.
A few minutes before serving, add the peas, sprouts, coriander and the remaining 1 tablespoon (8g) ginger and stir to combine.
Taste the broth and add more vinegar or chili if needed.
Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil on top of each serving.