Monday, 27 February 2017

Baby's 1st Birthday!

I just celebrated my lovely son's first birthday. It was a small family affair offering some games for the older children but of course all vegan fare ;)


Homemade sign was an easy sewing project with a printed fabric for either end, burlap, a ribbon and some white paint...


Got this cute whale print wrapping paper at Target.


I made this Treasure Map following instructions on YouTube and I made it look old by soaking it in tea before I started with the water colors, then I burned the edges. 




I had two drink dispensers - one with plain sparkling mineral water with lemon slices and the other with Elderflower Cordial from the UK which I bought from World Market. It was so delicious!



I made vegan crispy rice treats and shaped them with a cookie cutter.


  I made "fairy Bread" which is a fairly standard Australian birthday party staple...white bread with margarine and sprinkles. I used a cookie cutter to get the whale shape before I applied the sprinkles. I used Publix brand white bread as the ingredients were all vegan.


Vegan sprinkles!


I had cups of salted popcorn (homemade), plain potato chips and vegetable sticks (celery, cucumber, carrot and sugar snap pea).




(baby approved)








Vegan Crispy Rice Treats

 These were a hit at my son's first birthday party. Original recipe from Kelloggs.


Vegan Crispy Rice Treats

Ingredients

6 cups vegan rice puff cereal (I used Nature's Path Organic Crispy Rice)
3 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance
10 oz.vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies Minis)


Directions
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Add cereal. Stir until well coated.
Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into 2-inch squares or use a cookie cutter to shape. 
I also sprinkled with vegan sprinkles.
Best if served the same day.





Senior Solutions: How Going Vegan Can Help Your Health in Later Life

Today's entry is a special contribution from freelance health and food writer Jessica Walter...



Senior Solutions: How Going Vegan Can Help Your Health in Later Life

Looking after your health is one of the biggest concerns seniors have to deal with, and is one of the biggest causes of financial stress in the age group. It’s never too late to reassess your lifestyle and see how you can change things to be healthier. Making the switch to a vegan diet is one of the best ways to do this. Veganism brings many health benefits for people of all ages, but can specifically benefit seniors.

The Top Health Benefits

Many common health problems are caused by a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices; so think about what healthy changes you can make to improve your health as a senior. By going vegan, you’re helping to cut out these issues at the source - and also avoid having to manage them with costly synthetic medicines.

· Heart and blood - going vegan is a great way to reduce your cholesterol, and with it, your risk of heart disease. Vegan diets help to manage many medical conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

· Weight loss - your body needs less calories as it ages, so it can be easy to pile on the pounds. Vegan diets are naturally less calorific, so can help smooth this transition. Obesity is linked to all kinds of problems, from joint complaints to cancer, so this is a really positive effect of veganism.

· Digestion -  a vegan diet is high in fibre, which helps aid regular digestion and bowel processes. Gas and heartburn are caused by fatty and acidic foods, which are not present in a vegan diet.

· Optic health - brightly colored vegetables and fruits contain lots of vital minerals and nutrients which help many bodily functions, including your eyesight.


Preparing to Go Vegan

It’s important to give a little thought to your new vegan diet and make sure that it will work for you. While your calorie requirement does decrease, your requirements for certain nutrients and vitamins actually increases as you age - so check out vegan options or supplements to make sure you’re getting enough calcium to look after your bones. Consult your doctor and have some tests run to make sure you’re aware of any existing deficiencies, and research what fruits and vegetables you can eat to make up for these. It might be a little work to begin with but you’ll soon see the benefits - and have one less thing to worry about in your later life.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Vanilla Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The vanilla cake recipe comes courtesy of Chloe Coscarelli. The recipe is meant for a 9" double layer cake. For my first batch I doubled the recipe and it was a disaster. It just wouldn't cook through, after a couple of hours I  started again, just using the original recipe but only using one tin. I was able to salvage enough of the other cake to make the whale pattern, luckily! The cake was still very dense in the middle, not as light as I would have liked. Some people loved the cake, some didn't. The cream cheese frosting was a recipe from the food dye I used and it turned out great.


Vanilla Cake

Ingredients

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 ¾ cups Soy milk
1 cup Canola oil
¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Vanilla

Method

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9-inch cake pans lightly and line bottoms with parchment.:
Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk together wet ingredients and add to dry, mixing with a spoon just until well-blended.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until pick inserted in center comes out clean with just a few crumbs adhering. Invert and cool completely on wire rack.



Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

16 Oz vegan cream cheese
2 cups icing/confectioners sugar
2 Tbls non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Food Dye (I used Color Garden)


Method

Use an electric mixer to smooth the cream cheese.
Add in sifted icing sugar slowly.
Add in milk, adding more if needed.




Thursday, 16 February 2017

Jap Chae (Korean Glass Noddle Stir Fry)

I adapted this recipe from Crazy Korean Cooking.


Jap Chae (Korean Glass Noddle Stir Fry)

Ingredients

Marinade
3 Tbls soy sauce (I used Tamari)
3 Tbls water
1 Tbls sugar (I used brown rice syrup)
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
1 tps sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper

Stir Fry
5 oz Glass noodles (sweet potato noodles)
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1 large carrot, cut julienne
1 red capsicum/pepper. sliced thinly (optional)
1/2 oz shitake musrhooms, soaked and sliced thinly
1 packet extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into rectangle pieces.
2 oz baby spinach, blanched
1/4 tsp garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbls canola oil, for frying


Method

Whisk the marinade ingredients together and pour 1 tsp of mixture over the cut tofu. Marinade for 15 minutes or longer.
Add oil to a medium-hot frying pan/wok and sear tofu pieces on both sides till browned.

Place tofu on paper towel and set to the side.
In a large pot add water to 2/3 full and boil. Add in glass noodles and cook for around 6-8 minutes.
In the frying pan add onion and carrots and cook until soft and cooked through.

Add in mushrooms and wait till heated through.

Add in tofu and spinach and turn heat down to low.
Drain glass noddles and return to their pot.
Using kitchen scissors cut glass noodles into 1/4 of their original length or shorter.
Add the marinade to the noodles and mix well.
Pour in stir fry ingredients and mix well with noodles.
Serve and enjoy :)