Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vegan M&Ms and Creme Eggs!

I found these vegan M&Ms called No Nos by No Whey (plain and peanut butter) and mini vegan creme eggs from Premium Chocolatiers. I was hoping they would last till Easter but they barely lasted a week!


Homemade Honeycomb

Honeycomb is that fabulous golden crunchy goodness that you find in Violet Crumbles, Crunchie bars or Hokey Pokey ice-cream. It is so simple to make and great with ice-cream, covered in chocolate or use for gifts. This is from a Nigella Lawson recipe.


Homemade Honeycomb

Ingredient

100 grams vegan sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup (I get this in the States from a British store but you could substitute with a mixture of molasses and agave)
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


Method

Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix.
You mustn't stir once the pan's on the heat, though.
Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt, then turn to goo and then to a bubbling mass the colour of maple syrup - this will take 3 minutes or so.
Off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda and watch the syrup turn into a whooshing cloud of aerated pale gold.
Turn this immediately onto a piece of reusable baking parchment or greased foil.


Leave until set and then bash at it, so that it splinters into many glinting pieces.


Cover with melted chocolate and refrigerate to make your own chocolate covered honeycomb!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Green Tea Ice-Cream

So simple it's ridiculous!


Green Tea Ice-Cream

Ingredients

1 pint vegan vanilla ice-cream (I've also used mint choc chip which was so good!)
1 Tbls green tea powder


Method

Wait for ice-cream to soften.
In a food processor blend the ice-cream and green tea powder until mixed.
Done!



Tomato & Balsamic Spaghetti Soup

I veganized this recipe from a Rachel Ray magazine dish I saw. It saw serves 4 but I think more like 8!
This kind of reminds me of a nicer, fresher version of the canned SPC spaghetti I used to eat on toast when I was a kid. I'm a little bit of vegan cheddar or Parmesan would be delicious as a topper!
Disclaimer: if you are prone to acid re-flux this vinegar/tomato combo tends to repeat on you. If so skip the vinegar,


Tomato & Balsamic Spaghetti Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 pound GF spaghetti, broken into 1-to 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery with leafy top, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 28 ounce can  whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups passata or tomato puree (I used a cup of tomato paste mixed with a cup of hot water)
1 quart vegetable stock
A few leaves of basil, torn
Minced fresh parsley


Method

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
When the butter foams turn down to low-medium, add the uncooked pasta and cook, stirring often, until toasted and golden, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high.
Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
Uncover, stir in the agave, then stir in the vinegar, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, passata and stock.
Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a food processor/blender, puree the soup.
If using a food processor, return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil.
Add the toasted pasta and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.
Divide soup among bowls; top with basil and parsley.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Tomato Bisque

Full disclosure, my family did not dig this soup at all but I thought it was delicious. I certainly packs a punch so is better as an appetizer.


Tomato Bisque

Ingredients

3 tps vegan fish or miso paste
1 Tbls vegan fish sauce (I buy mine from an Asian grocer but you can make your own).
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
Chilli flakes (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
⅓ cup dry sherry
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. paprika
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
salt to taste

Method

Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Add the shallots and onion and saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Slowly add the sake, taking care to slowly incorporate the sake into the mixture.
Once mixed in and smooth, add the Worcestershire sauce, chilli flakes, pepper and thyme.
Cook for 1-2 minutes until this mixture becomes a thick paste.
Slowly add the sherry and deglaze the pan if any bits are sticking to the pan at this time.
Add the paprika, tomato paste, miso paste, soy sauce, fish sauce and water and stir to combine well.
Add potato starch mix and stir quickly.
In a medium bowl whisk egg replacers with silken tofu, adding more water if needed for that "beaten egg" consistency.
Continue stirring the soup as you pour in the tofu mixture.
Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Blend the mixture in a blender or using an immersion blender. The mixture should be very smooth. Return the blended mixture to the pan and add in the butter.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Once warmed through serve, adding more salt if needed or chilli flakes if you prefer it hotter.




Saturday, 14 February 2015

Handmade Cotton Handbags

Handmade cotton handbags originally designed and made by me now available on my Etsy store!






Blood Orange Soap is Back!

New Blood Orange Soap batch is available on my Etsy store!


Valentine's Day 2015

Or as my children say "Valentime's Day" lol. Sometimes it's a family affair rather than a romantic night out!

Heart Shaped Pancakes using Instant Pancake Mix and a ketchup bottle.


Delicious vegan milk chocolate hearts filled with vegan truffles. YUM!
Chocolate by Sjaak's, bought from Natural Candy Store.



The card I made for my husband, just stamps on the bottom and a water color heart on top with stamped lettering.


Handmade card my husband made for me...he knows I'm obsessed with the Fleur de Lis LOL


Inside the card...



Origami hearts that are so easy to make that the kids helped!




Thursday, 12 February 2015

New Vegan Items - February 2015

OK so maybe not "new" but newly discovered by me anyway!

The Mountain Town Olive Oil Company is amazing! Their infused oils and vinegars are seriously equisite! I'm totally addicted to their Traditional 18yr Balsamic Vinegar (seriously I put this on everything) and the California Garlic Olive oil.


My brother and sister in law got me an amazing Tarte Amazonian Clay gift pack for my birthday and I have to say I am loving the Maracuja Oil. I'm using every night on my face and I really have noticed a difference in the quality of my skin.


We all know and love Justin's vegan peanut butter cups but I recently discovered their version of Nutella in Target. Totally vegan and gluten free! Loving it, but having to hide it from the family.


If you haven't tried Hampton Creek vegan mayonnaise range then go right this minute and buy some!! 
I'm currently addicted to the Chipotle Mayonnaise which I also found at Target!





Saturday, 7 February 2015

Asian Style Pesto

This pesto is great for noodles, pasta and pizza (yes I said pizza). Teriyaki Asian Pesto Pizza recipe below.


Asian Style Pesto

Ingredients

½ cup raw peanuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large bunch basil (2 cups tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)
1 bunch mint (½ cup tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)
1 bunch cilantro (1 cup tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)
1 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/4-1/2 cup peanut or canola oil and sesame oil combined
1 tsp. chili sauce (I used sambal olak but you can use any)
1 Tbls agave or sugar


Method

Roast peanuts in the oven at 350F for 10 minutes.
Remove and pulse in food processor with garlic, not into a paste just into crumbles.
Place into a bowl and then add all the herbs to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Add herbs to bowl and mix into the peanuts with the oil, salt, lime juice, chili sauce and agave.
Pesto is ready for use!


Before I went vegan I loved a pizza from the Gourmet Pizza Kitchen in Australia which had prawns cooked in Teriyaki sauce with an Asian pesto. This is a vegan replica I tried out. DELICIOUS! Not exactly like I remember it but still a great pizza.

Teriyaki Asian Pesto Pizza

Ingredients

1/4-1/2 cup Asian Pesto (recipe above)
1 batch Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 batch fried tofu (small cubes) - alternatively you could use vegan chicken or prawns
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1 GF Pizza Base
Fresh lime (for serving)
Agave for serving(optional)

Method

Spread the pesto on the pizza base.
Cook at 400F for 20-40 mins (depending on if your pizza base was cooked to begin with or raw).
Dredge the tofu in the Teriyaki sauce.
Remove pizza from oven and scatter tofu pieces and drizzle on the remaining Teriyaki sauce.
Scatter cilantro leaves and a spritz of lime if desired.
I also like a final drizzle of agave syrup.

Asian "Crab" Salad

This was inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe. Heart of Palm is a great crab substitute in any crab recipe but it does come from palm trees you must make sure it was sourced sustainability. Hawaii is a great source of sustainable sourced palm.


Asian "Crab" Salad

Ingredients

2 tablespoons mirin
½ teaspoon wasabi paste
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 drop sesame oil
½ teaspoon Maldon salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt)
1 long fresh red chilli pepper (deseeded and finely chopped) - optional
1 Tbls red currant or cranberry jelly
200 grams heart of palm (get sustainable), drained
1 teaspoon lime juice
150 grams rocket (or whatever lettuce you prefer)
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced


Method

Shred the heart of palm with your fingers or pulse in a food processor.
Whisk together the mirin, wasabi paste, red currant jelly, rice vinegar, sesame oil and salt in a small bowl.
In a medium bowl mix the heart of palm and 1 Tbls of the dressing, and fork through to mix thoroughly.
In a medium bowl, add the lime juice and then the salad leaves and toss well to mix, before arranging on plates.
Add crab on top and drizzle remaining dressing over the top.
Top with sliced avocado.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Buffalo Tofu Bites

These amazing tofu bites have the taste of Buffalo Hot Wings without the carnage...yay! My hubby came up with this recipe and they were so delicious!!! Great alone or accompanied by Vegan Ranch Dressing.


Buffalo Tofu Bites

Ingredients

1 packet of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup corn flour
Oil for deep frying

for the sauce;
1 cup Frank's Hot Sauce (I used the medium one)
3 Tbls vegan butter
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp course black pepper (optional)
2 Tbls bourbon (optional)
Ground cayene pepper to taste (optional - if you like them HOT)


Method

Preheat oven to 200F and prepare an oven tray lined with foil.
Cut the tofu longways into 1/4 inch strips then cut down the middle to create bite size pieces.
Heat deep frying oil to 375F.
Dredge the tofu bites in corn flour and set aside to fry.


As the oil is heating up make the sauce.
In a small pot whisk all sauce ingredients on a medium heat until well mixed.
Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer.


Once oil is hot enough fry 4 pieces of tofu at a time until slightly golden then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.


Once the four new pieces of tofu are cooking place the paper towel ones in the sauce and turn to coat.


Leave until the next batch is ready to come in.
Once ready to take out place on the oven tray.
When all pieces are on the tray bake in the oven for 10 mins or until ready to eat.
This will keep them warm and allow the sauce to dry a bit.
Serve alone or with vegan ranch dressing.


Left overs (if there are any!) make a great salad;