Friday, May 18, 2012

salt and pepper tofu bites

1 block firm tofu cut into 1cm cubes
flour (I use brown rice flour)
chickn stock powder

Mix the flour (enough to coat the tofu) with the salt and pepper (to your taste) and some chickn stock powder. Put into a zip lock bag with the tofu and shake (like a shake and bake) Then shallow fry in some oil on a medium - high heat, turning every few mins until they are golden. Place onto a paper towel and add a little more salt. Enjoy hot!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vegan Mexican Meat Mix

In our house we eat a lot of burritos, enchiladas, tacos and nachos. Here is a meat filling mix that you can use for any of them.

1 onion
2 red capsicums (or 1 red 1 green)
1 can sanitarium casserole  mince
1 can tomatoes
tomato paste
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn kernels
sliced jalepeno peppers (we had some old el paso ones in the fridge)

Spice mix from here + 2 tsp of cocoa (this is the secret ingredient)

Sauté the onions on a medium-high heat in a large pot. When soft add the capsicum. Soften the caps and add the spice mix. Coat the onion and capsicum and cook until the delicious aroma is released then add the casserole mince. Once all combined add the canned tomatoes and the tomato paste. Then add the kidney beans, corn kernels and jalepenos. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15-20 mins or until thickened enough.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Easy Peasy Cheezey Scones

2.5 cups self raising flour
pinch of salt
2 tsp mustard powder
50g cold margarine
1 cup milk (almond, rice, soy)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
handful of fresh chives, chopped
OPTIONAL - garlic powder, onion powder, grated cheez, extra salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 230*
Sift together, SR Flour, salt and mustard powder
Cut the marg into small pieces and rub into mixture with your fingertips until there are no large lumps.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Use a butter knife to make a cutting action to combine the wet and dry mixture. Don't use your hands at this point because you don't want to overwork the flour and have a tough dough.
Add in the nooch and chives, still mixing with the butter knife until it starts to come together.
Turn out onto a floured surface and GENTLY knead together, only using your fingers, not your palm/wrist. Flatten it out to about 2 cms - DO NOT USE A ROLLING PIN! Still keep using those fingers!!
Flour your pastry cutter and cut out as closely as possible to get as many scones as you can from the first knead. You will have some scraps left over, knead out gently again and cut out the rest of the dough. (I always use a small cutter and I get about 20 scones)
Place onto a floured baking tray, brush the top with a little milk or flour and cook for 10 - 12 mins.
To test if they are ready, tap them on the top and they should make a noise.
Lay out on a fresh tea towel to cool and make sure you eat one hot from the oven covered in nuttelex!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Not Your Nanna's Banana Bread

This recipe was kind of adapted from a combination of 2 banana breads I would make. I think the end product is nicer, but that's because I love the spices in it and the moist cakey-ness that is best eaten warm with some margarine slathered on.

2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas
1/2 cup milk (I use almond)
1/4 cup oil (I use rice bran or sunflower)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1.5 - 2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 - 2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 175* and grease a loaf tin.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and spices
In a blender or food processor blend together the bananas, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the wet mix. Stir gently as not to overwork the flour.
Pour into the loaf tin and top with some flaked almonds. Cook for 55 mins or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the pan for 15 - 20 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Slice and eat with a giant slathering of margarine or even some dark cherry jam!

Vegan Colcannon

2 leeks cut in half moons
4 cloves of garlic, flattened with knife and sliced
15 brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed, cut in half, then chiffionad-ed
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and shredded
7 small-ish potatoes, boiled and mashed with margarine and milk to a creamy consistency

2 TBS nuttelex
Rice milk
white pepper

There are a few separate components to this recipe but this is the work flow I came up with

Wash kale, remove stems, shred and boil in hot, salted water for 5 mins. This will soften them and reduce cooking time later. Drain and set aside.
While this is boiling, peel and cut up potatoes. By this time the kale should be ready and you can use the same pot to boil some fresh water. (Always start root vegetables in cold water with a little salt) Drain and set aside once the potatoes are soft.
While the potatoes are cooking, prep the brussel sprouts by washing and removing a small amount of the stem and the outer few leaves. Cut each sprout in half vertically and then shred the half.
Trim the leeks and wash of any dirt that may have collected. Slice these into half moons.
Lastly peel 4 cloves of garlic and crush with your knife, then slice. This doesn't have to be too thin, I like it as a rough chop.

Once all the prep is ready you can then heat 2 tbs nuttelex on a medium heat (again, we use the La Chasseuer cast iron because it is ridiculously awesome) Add the leeks and soften them, which takes a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes. It will smell pretty awesome by this point already. Now you can add the brussel sprouts, add a pinch of salt to help break them down and stick the lid on for a minute or 2 if you want to hurry the process. Stir so it doesn't stick to the bottom and once the brussel sprouts have softened up you can add the kale that you have already pre boiled.
While these flavours get acquainted you can mash the potatoes that you have ready and set aside. Mash them with some nuttelex and milk (I used rice milk) a splash at a time. Add a bit of salt and some white pepper. Make sure it is nice and creamy because you are going to add it to the big pot.
Combine the mash with the greens. Stir thoroughly. You may need to add a little extra milk and/or butter. Taste and season with some extra salt and white pepper if needed.
This is traditionally served topped with ham or bacon. I think it is nice on its own, but if you'd like to spruce it up a bit use some fake ham (Our local Asian grocery does a fake ham log which would be nice diced and fried and put on top)

I also made a chickpea gravy to use as the bottom layer for the colcannon to sit on and add some extra flavour, then topped with facon cubes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Vegan chicken noodle soup

For the first time in over a year I caught a cold, probably due to the change of weather recently, so I decided to make a chicken noodle soup. Vegan, of course!
Here is what I did;

A splash of oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 sticks of celery, diced
half a bulb of garlic, crushed
1-2 cups of soup pasta
8-12 cups chicken stock (massel cubes or powder are vegan)
soy chicken chunks (or which ever fake version you prefer)
thyme - a handful of sprigs fresh from the garden
parsley - a handful
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

You may need a large pot for this one. I used my cast iron Chasseur round dutch oven.

Over a medium heat, warm the oil and sauté the onion until it is clear and glossy. Add the carrots and celery, cook for about 5-7 mins and then add the garlic and cook for another 3-5 or so minutes.
Add the stock (start with 8 cups to begin with, then you can adjust later), bay leaves, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil and scoop out any foam that is floating on the top.
Next add the soup pasta and the chicken and simmer for about 10-15 minutes (or longer if the pasta/noodle packet says to)
At this point you can take out the bay leaves, add more salt and pepper of you need to, and enjoy!

Note: I found that using 2 cups of soup pasta was quite a lot and ended up adding the extra 4 cups of stock to the pot, but you can decrease the pasta to avoid this.

This will make quite a lot of soup for one person. I stored it in the fridge and ate it for lunch every day for about 5 days.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

cake vegan for life

Since I am way too lazy to really blog, here are some photos from school and home.......
Celebration Cake for an assessment. I really wanted to pipe this cute design. It was originally a henna design but I changed up the colours and make it vibrant to contrast the white fondant.

Strawberry and custard flan with a clear glaze.

Farewell mud cake with a new ganache recipe I came up with. The cake was too dry for my liking but the ganache was awesome.  Cheated at the piping by putting a stencil of my writing under some baking paper and transferred it onto the cake. At this stage, I am way to scared to pipe directly onto a cake!

Vegan sausage rolls.Recipe by Leigh Drew and her upcoming cook book "Wrapped in Pastry" If you don't get the Twin Peaks reference, you should reassess your life.

Scones. Easiest recipe ever. Flour, Nuttelex, rice milk. DO NOT ADD SUGAR. Topped with some whipped coconut cream and black cherry jam. 

Practice wedding cake. This is going to be a 2 tiered, 5 layered mountain of deliciousness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quinoa Non Carne

I have been in such a recipe slump for a long time, cooking mainly from books or things I have memorised but finally I bring to you AN ORIGINAL!
After a recent trip to Costco we got quite a few things in bulk that have been hanging around the pantry waiting to be made into something delicious. With a rumbly tummy I pulled out quinoa, canned tomatoes, 4 bean mix and thought to myself, "what can I do with these?" Then a lightbulb went off - Chili Con Carne!
I googled a few basic recipes to see what else I would need...... Onions (didn't have any) Capsicum (none of those either) Meat (Um, NO!) So a quick traipse through the fridge and I had myself an almost con carne recipe. Here's what I used (feel free to add and subtract whatever you like)

Olive Oil
Half a bulb of garlic (thinly sliced)
A thinly sliced green chili (These are less hotter than the red ones cos I'm a baby)
A packet of fajita seasoning (you could use taco seasoning or something similar)
A can of lentils
A can of tomatoes
A can of 4 bean mix
4 tbs salsa (or more if you like)
1 cup quinoa
10 small vine ripened tomatoes
3 mild pickled chilis (They come in a jar, kind of sweet and mildly hot)
2 tbs Tomato Paste

Heat about 2 tbs oil on a medium heat. I used my Le Chasseur cast iron dutch oven) Throw in the garlic and turn the temperature down to a medium low. Cook for about 3 mins. DO NOT BURN! Burnt garlic tastes VERY BAD! If you see the garlic getting dark brown, turn the temperature down!! Add chili and cook for another 2 mins. Add the fajita mix and stir, then add some more oil to make a nice thin paste. Cook for another 3 mins.
Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, four bean mix and salsa. Stir through to combine. Throw in the quinoa, vine tomatoes, pickled chilis and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer then turn down to low, put the lid on and cook for 10 mins. Check, stir, taste and adjust if needed (maybe more salsa or tomato paste) Cook for another 10 mins with the lid on. After the 2nd 10 min round of cooking, take off the lid, stir and if you need to, add some water to keep it like a stew. The quinoa likes to suck up all the liquid! Cook for another 10 mins with the lid off.
Serve and EAT! You could serve this with some guacamole or maybe just some nooch sprinkled on the top.